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Patients With Multiple Myeloma Get Shortchanged in Supportive Care
September 18, 2019 – Katie Kosko

Patients With Multiple Myeloma Get Shortchanged in Supportive Care

Receiving supportive care can help ease symptoms of cancer and its treatment, improving quality of life for patients. But many with multiple myeloma are missing out on aspects of this type of care, according to study findings published in Cancer.
BY Katie Kosko
PUBLISHED September 18, 2019
Receiving supportive care can help ease symptoms of cancer and its treatment, improving quality of life for patients. But many with multiple myeloma are missing out on aspects of this type of care, according to study findings published in Cancer.

Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare database, researchers identified nearly 2,000 adults ages 66 and older who had received a multiple myeloma diagnosis between 2008 and 2013.

Their goal: to see who received guide- line-recommended supportive care. This includes bone-modifying drugs within one year after diagnosis, influenza vaccination in the first season after diagnosis and simultaneous use of prophylactic antivirals with proteasome inhibitors, drugs that block the action of proteasomes, which are large protein complexes that break down proteins and can increase the risk of certain viral infections such as chickenpox and shingles.

The review revealed that 64% of patients received bone-modifying drugs, although non-Hispanic black patients and those with baseline renal impairment had lower odds of getting these agents.

Just over half of patients (52%) got an influenza vaccination. Again, non-Hispanic blacks had lower odds of being vaccinated, as did patients with dual Medicaid enrollment.

Finally, 49% of patients received antiviral prophylaxis, with patients who were treated in the community-based setting least likely to have this preventive measure taken.

Lack of supportive care may lead to unnecessary high symptom burden and poor quality of life, the researchers said, noting the need for targeted interventions for patients.
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