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.
published July 23, 2020
Masks, social distancing, and asymptomatic spread may seem like 2020 buzzwords. But these concepts would have been familiar to those who lived through the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie highlights two books that feature fascinating historical parallels to guide us through today’s pandemic.
published July 9, 2020
After a shutdown due to COVID-19, myeloma research continues with safety measures in place, says IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie. A new study shows the value of monitoring myeloma using blood testing, early good results are seen in the IMF-supported ASCENT trial, and details of a new scoring system used to diagnose high-risk smoldering myeloma have been submitted for publication.
published July 2, 2020
New COVID-19 outbreaks are emerging across the U.S. Yet, Iceland appears to have successfully eradicated the virus and is now open for tourism. Dr. Brian G.M. Durie explores the lessons we can take away from the country that is home to the IMF-supported iStopMM project.
published June 25, 2020
A U.K. study found that dexamethasone, the ever-present myeloma therapy, is effective in very sick patients with COVID-19 infection. And a second outbreak of the coronavirus has occurred in Beijing. As regions of the U.S. emerge from lockdown, myeloma patients should wear masks, avoid mass gatherings, and “assume that anyone you do not know is a source of COVID-19,” says IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie.
published June 18, 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?
This two-hour webinar features a panel discussion about the latest treatments for and management of myeloma led by IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie.
Panelists include Dr. Joseph Mikhael of Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Dr. William Bensinger of the Swedish Medical Center, and Joseph Tariman PhD RN, School of Nursing/College of Science and Health De Paul University.
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: July 23, 2020