Expanding Role of Bortezomib in Multiple Myeloma: Nursing Implications

Kathleen Colson, RN, BSN, BS; Deborah S. Doss, RN, OCN; Regina Swift, RN, BSN; Joseph Tariman, RN, APN, MN, BC, OCN


Cancer Nurs. 2008;31(3):239-249. 

In This Article

Conclusions and Future Directions

Since our previous review of bortezomib in relation to nursing, much has been learned about optimizing therapy, and experience has widened with the new, second-line indication for bortezomib in MM. It is essential that nurses be armed with the most recent information about this increasingly important treatment, enabling them to empower their patients with improved knowledge and understanding of their therapy. Bortezomib is being actively investigated in the front-line setting. Recently, bortezomib-based regimens were added to the treatment protocol for newly diagnosed MM patients in the updated National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology, potentially further broadening experience with, and understanding of, this therapy.

Bortezomib is effective and well tolerated when administered over the long term, and its main side effects are well characterized, manageable, and reversible. Numerous studies are ongoing to explore different combination regimens, optimal scheduling and duration of therapy, and retreatment with bortezomib. With increasing experience of bortezomib, appropriate management strategies to minimize toxicities, such as dose reduction, are being developed. Nurses are usually best placed to recognize side effects at their first occurrence and to take prompt and appropriate action to ensure quick resolution. In addition, nurses have a unique opportunity to educate patients and their families about their treatment, providing help with recognizing and coping with side effects. Appropriate and timely nursing interventions that address the side effects of bortezomib therapy will help to ensure achievement of maximal benefit from this effective therapy.


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