As the COVID-19 respiratory virus spreads around the world, please know that the IMF is here for you.
People living with myeloma are at an increased risk. “Myeloma patients have compromised immune systems and are highly vulnerable to new infections,” says IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie.
“It is important to be proactive and guard against infection from unknown sources.”
On this page, you will find updated guidance to keep you safe. Featured are Dr. Durie’s blogs and FAQs, aimed specifically at multiple myeloma patients, and links to the best sources of COVID-19 news.
There is currently no vaccine against COVID-19, so it is important for myeloma patients and their families to minimize their risk for contracting the virus. Practices to minimize your risk include:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others. Isolation at home is best.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Please be safe and well, and please contact the IMF InfoLine with any questions.
Read this page for the IMF’s latest recommendations on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if you have multiple myeloma (MM), smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).
As 2020 winds down, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines is promising us a return to some normality in the new year. But it’s important to continue to stay safe until enough people have been vaccinated to dramatically reduce likelihood of infection in the community. “The music of life,” says IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie, should resume by mid-year 2021.
published December 17, 2020
We got some good news this week that COVID-19 vaccines are on the horizon. But even when they are widely available, we will need to stay vigilant. IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie says to think of the approach as the “Swiss cheese model.” Each layer of protection has a few holes, but when stacked together, the layers become stronger.
published December 3, 2020
With the publication of the International Myeloma Working Group’s new method for identifying smoldering myeloma patients who should be treated and some good news about COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, science is leading the way, says IMF Chairman Brian G.M. Durie. And that’s a good thing.
published October 29, 2020
New research reveals that older adults have the psychological resilience to handle the challenges of the pandemic. Dr. Brian G.M. Durie says, “People this age seem to recognize that it is important to focus on what we can control in our lives.”
published October 15, 2020
#ASKDRDURIE COVID-19 FAQs
As the COVID-19 respiratory virus spreads across the country and around the world, myeloma patient safety is a paramount concern of patients, families and caregivers.
Watch Dr. Durie's COVID-19 FAQ video series to learn more how COVID-19 has affected the myeloma community.
Videos in the COVID-19 FAQ Series
- How can myeloma pts reduce the possibility of being exposed to the coronavirus?
- What do myeloma patients need to know about COVID-19?
- Do myeloma patients need to adjust their treatment?
- What are some of the treatment modifications myeloma patients should consider?
- What are the risk factors that could lead myeloma patients to develop serious consequences from the COVID-19 infection?
- What precautions should myeloma patients take when getting their groceries?
- Is it safe for myeloma patients to take walks?
- Is physical distancing still recommended for myeloma patients?
- Can myeloma patients avoid contracting the COVID-19 infection?
- Should Myeloma patients undergo routine COVID-19 antibody testing?
- Are MGUS and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) patients considered to be at higher risk for severe consequences from a COVID-19 infection?
- If a myeloma patient takes Revlimid® (lenalidomide) as maintenance treatment, should this patient continue with that treatment during the pandemic?
- Is it safe for myeloma patients to resume in-person doctors' visits?
- Should myeloma patients undergo ASCT during the pandemic?
- Is dexamethasone helpful against the COVID-19 infection?
- Is it safe for myeloma patients to travel by airplane?
- How high of a risk do asymptomatic carriers pose to myeloma patients?
- Is Ninlaro® a safe treatment alternative for myeloma patients during the pandemic?
- Should myeloma patients visit the dentist during the pandemic?
- What is a bubble? And should myeloma patients exercise this practice?
- How should myeloma patients conduct their follow-up appointments?
- Have the safety recommendations changed for myeloma patients?
- With the COVID-19 pandemic still a concern, what does the future hold for myeloma patients?
- For myeloma patients, how important is it to wear a mask?
We wanted to take some time and keep you up to date on the Federal Government’s response regarding COVID-19. We have received a lot of questions from patients and their families about what is included in the government has done to address the virus.
COVID-19 External Resources:
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control
- FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Drug
- Cancer Emergency Fund
- FDA: A Message to Patients With Cancer and Health Care Providers About COVID-19
- FDA Issues Guidance for Conducting Clinical Trials
- US Government Response
- Global Dashboard of confirmed cases
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Watch Out for Medicare Fraud (Possible COVID-19 scams)
- VA and Coronavirus
- The American Red Cross: Steps to Help Cope with the Evolving Coronavirus Situation
- Considerations of COVID-19–Specific Myeloma Guidelines in New York City
- Multiple Myeloma Medicare Access
- PSA Safe Grocery Shopping in COVID-19 Pandemic
- How I Am Managing My Patients With Myeloma During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- LLS COVID-19 Patient Financial Aid Program - currently closed
- Healthwell Foundation COVID-19 Ancillary Costs Support - currently closed
- COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program by Team Rubicon and Bristol Myers Squibb
- GSK COVID-19 statement of support Patient Groups
- GSK Compassionate Use (Expanded Access) statement for Patient Groups
- Takeda Oncology Expands Patient Assistance in the U.S. During COVID-19 Crisis
- Takeda Oncology 1 Point portal
- Bristol Myers Squibb COVID-19 patient support
- Global Plasma Leaders Collaborate to Accelerate Development of Potential COVID-19 Hyperimmune Therapy
- Sanofi and GSK to join forces in unprecedented vaccine collaboration to fight COVID-19
- Johnson & Johnson Announces a Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19
The International Myeloma Foundation medical and editorial content team
Comprised of leading medical researchers, hematologist, oncologists, oncology-certified nurses, medical editors, and medical journalists, our team has extensive knowledge of the multiple myeloma treatment and care landscape. Additionally, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie reviews and approves all medical content on this website.
Last Medical Review: January 12, 2021