Your patients may benefit from receiving educational materials to support them during treatment with VELCADE® (bortezomib)

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Getting Started with VELCADE Patient Resource Kit

Getting Started with
VELCADE Patient Resource Kit


The Patient Resource Kit contains:

  • Treatment Brochure for People with Multiple Myeloma
  • Lab Tests Booklet and Tracker
  • Discussion Guides for Your Healthcare Team
  • Glossary Card for Multiple Myeloma
  • Other resources
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A Multiple Myeloma Journey

The following patient milestones provide discussion points you might want to share with your patients during appointments to help them understand multiple myeloma and their treatment with VELCADE® (bortezomib).

  • Diagnosis

      Diagnosing multiple myeloma

      Understanding your lab tests for multiple myeloma

      Your symptoms suggest that you may have a kind of cancer called multiple myeloma. In order to confirm or rule out this diagnosis, your doctor will want to run certain laboratory tests of your blood and urine.

      Here is a tool that can help you understand more about these tests. It explains how they are given and what the results mean.

      Nurse Notes

      References: 1. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®): Multiple Myeloma (Version 2.2014). © 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. Available at NCCN.org. Accessed January 31, 2014. 2. Munshi NC, Anderson KC. In: DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology. Vol 2. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008:2305-2342.

      Adjusting to the diagnosis

      Dealing with a diagnosis of multiple myeloma can be challenging. At this time, it may be helpful to share your feelings and experience with your family and friends, and to reach out for support.

      The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is an organization dedicated to helping people with multiple myeloma. Visit their website for more information about myeloma, treatment options, support groups, and other resources.

      Nurse Notes

      The American Cancer Society also offers helpful information and emotional support services for people with cancer. Take a look at their website for more information.

      International Myeloma Foundation logo
      American Cancer Society logo

      Looking forward

      Questions for your doctor

      You probably have many questions about your treatment and how multiple myeloma may affect your life.

      Here is a list of questions for your doctor. Select the questions you'd like answered and bring the list with you to your next appointment.


      Nurse Notes

      References: 1. Bertolotti P, Bilotti E, Colson K, et al. Management of side effects of novel therapies for multiple myeloma: consensus statements developed by the international myeloma foundation’s nurse leadership board. Clin J Oncol Nursing. 2008;S12(3):9-12. 2. Durie BGM. Oncology nurses take the lead in providing novel therapy guidelines for multiple myeloma. Clin J Oncol Nursing. 2008;S12(3):7-8.

      Developing a long-term treatment strategy

      Treatment calendar for VELCADE (bortezomib)

      Multiple myeloma is a complex disease that requires a long-term management strategy. Although the disease is not curable, it is treatable. So it's important to be on a treatment plan that's right for you. By reviewing treatment goals and expectations at the start of treatment, you will have the best chance of staying on therapy.1

      Nurse Notes

      Visit VELCADE.com to create and download your custom Treatment Calendar to help you keep track of your treatment schedule and appointments.

      Reference: 1. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®): Multiple Myeloma (Version 2.2014). © 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. Available at NCCN.org. Accessed January 31, 2014.

      Building a patient support network

      Multiple myeloma can create feelings of uncertainty, and it is understandable that you may have a hard time dealing with it.

      Remember that you are not alone. There are others with multiple myeloma; seek them out, join a support group, maybe try two or three until you find the one that's right for you. Help is there for the taking.  
      —Sheryl, patient
      Nurse Notes

      These support groups and organizations can help while putting you in touch with other people living with the disease who can provide advice and support.

      Previous Milestone
      Next Milestone
    • Treatment

        Is therapy with VELCADE (bortezomib) right for me?

        VELCADE Reimbursement Assistance Program

        VELCADE (bortezomib) may be an appropriate treatment choice for you. But before you get started, it is important to tell your healthcare team about any other medical conditions you may have and other medicines, supplements, and herbal remedies you may be taking. You should also report any allergies you may have to other medicines.


        Nurse Notes

        This sheet includes common questions and answers about treatment with VELCADE. It describes the kind of information that is important and should be discussed with your healthcare team in order to ensure that VELCADE is right for you.

        Managing other medical conditions

        If you have conditions other than multiple myeloma such as diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease, talk to your healthcare team. Your doctor and nurse will determine a treatment plan that's right for you.

        Nurse Notes

        What to expect with therapy

        You are probably wondering how well VELCADE (bortezomib) will work, how long you will be taking it, and what the possible side effects may be. The plan will be to stay on VELCADE for 1 year. A large study has shown that people who took VELCADE-based therapy lived 1 year longer than people whose treatment did not include VELCADE. For this reason, it's important to stick with your treatment plan. It's also important to understand potential side effects of VELCADE and let your doctor know if you are experiencing any of them.

        Nurse Notes

        Watch this video about Marie, who was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma and received treatment with VELCADE. It may help address some of your questions and concerns.

        Accessing financial support

        VRAP and patient assistance form

        You may have concerns about the cost of treatment and how you are going to pay for it. If paying for treatment is a concern for you, you should know that VELCADE (bortezomib) patient support services offer financial support to qualified patients through the Reimbursement Assistance Program. If you do not have insurance coverage for VELCADE, you may be eligible to participate in the VELCADE Patient Assistance Program.

        Nurse Notes

        The following brochure includes information about the programs and how to enroll. You can also check out www.VELCADE.com to learn more.

        Accessing treatment and personal support

        Support is important throughout every stage of your journey with multiple myeloma. VELCADE (bortezomib) patient support services offer a wide range of treatment and personal support, and other resources.

        Treatment support

        • Live telephone support from dedicated case managers — 1-866-VELCADE (option 2)
        • Educational events with patients and caregivers

        Personal support

        Nurse Notes
        • Resources about living with cancer
        • Transportation referral assistance
        • Guidance for accessing legal services
        • Counseling and support program referrals, and more
        I started treatment last month. My doctor told me about my treatment, but I wanted to know more. My case manager gave me the phone number to enroll in the patient support services. I got answers to questions I didn't even know I had.   —Joan, patient

        Tracking laboratory tests for multiple myeloma

        Laboratory test tracker

        It is important to keep a record of the tests you are given, their dates, and results. This record will help determine whether the disease is progressing and how you're responding to treatment over time. Some of the tests will be repeated at different points during your therapy and/or after therapy is completed.


        Nurse Notes

        Here is a tool you can use to help keep track of your tests and their results.

        Reference: 1. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®): Multiple Myeloma (Version 2.2014). © 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. Available at NCCN.org. Accessed January 31, 2014.

        Managing travel for medical appointments

        Transportation assistance sheet

        Over the course of 1 year of treatment with VELCADE (bortezomib), you may find it difficult to get to all of your medical appointments, but making it to your appointments is an important part of continuing your treatment.

        Here is a list of organizations that may be able to provide assistance getting to and from your appointments. Why don't you contact them and see if they can help?

        Early detection and management of adverse reactions

        VELCADE (bortezomib) FAQ tool

        It's possible that you may experience adverse reactions with VELCADE (bortezomib)-based treatment. It's important that you report any adverse reactions right away so your healthcare team can work to get them under control.


        Nurse Notes

        This list provides answers to some common questions about treatment with VELCADE. It includes information about adverse reactions that other people treated with VELCADE have experienced.

        Reference: 1. Colson K, Doss DS, Swift R, Tariman J, Thomas TE. Bortezomib, a newly approved proteasome inhibitor for the treatment of multiple myeloma: nursing implications. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2004;8(5):473-480.

        Understanding peripheral neuropathy

        Neurotoxicity assessment tool

        From the symptoms you describe, it sounds like you may have something called peripheral neuropathy. This can cause numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, as well as pain or weakness.

        Use this form to rate how often you experience these symptoms and how severe they are. Your responses will help determine how to manage them.

        Nurse Notes

        References: 1. Silberman J, Lonial S. Review of peripheral neuropathy in plasma cell disorders. Hematol Oncol. 2008;26(2):55-65. 2. Snowden JA, Ahmedzai SH, Ashcroft J, et al; for the Haemato-oncology Task Force of the British Committee for Standards in Haematology and UK Myeloma Forum. Br J Haematol. 2011;154(1):76-103. 3. Tariman JD, Love G, McCullagh E, Sandifer S; for the IMF Nurse Leadership Board. Peripheral neuropathy associated with novel therapies in patients with multiple myeloma: consensus statement of the IMF Nurse Leadership Board. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2008;12(suppl 3):29-36.

        Peripheral neuropathy experience with VELCADE (bortezomib)

        Peripheral neuropathy (tingling or numbness in the hands, arms, feet, or legs), which may be caused by VELCADE (bortezomib), can progress to discomfort, pain, muscle weakness, or a burning sensation. In some cases, it can be severe.

        What happens if you experience peripheral neuropathy?

        Nurse Notes
        1. These symptoms should be reported immediately to your doctor or nurse, who may be able to help you manage them.
        2. Your doctor may lower your dose of VELCADE, interrupt your treatment until your symptoms get better, or stop your treatment with VELCADE.
        3. Your doctor may also suggest medicines or therapies to relieve or lessen these symptoms.
        Previous Milestone
        Next Milestone
      • Remission

          Balancing life

          Living with multiple myeloma isn't easy, and you may be feeling tired and sad. Doing simple things that you enjoy can help lift your spirits. Some people find that meditation helps relieve stress. Spending time with your loved ones can also help. Also, spirituality can provide comfort, if this is something that plays a meaningful role in your life. It is important to keep your life in balance in whatever ways work for you.

          VELCADE.com can connect you with support organizations that offer resources to help make achieving balance easier.

          Nurse Notes

          Managing overall health over the long term

          Eating right and staying active are very important for you right now. The American Cancer Society recommends eating a variety of foods that provide the nutrients needed to help you stay healthy.

          • Protein—found in fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts and nut butters, dried beans, peas and lentils, and soy-based foods
          • Fats—monounsaturated fats found in olive, canola, and peanut oils; polyunsaturated fats found in safflower, sunflower, corn, flaxseed oils, and seafood
          • Carbohydrates—fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
          • Water—eight 8-ounce glasses per day (patients experiencing vomiting or diarrhea may need more)
          • Nurse Notes
          • Vitamins and minerals—most are found naturally in foods. Supplements are also available in pill and liquid form

          You can learn about healthy nutrition and how to stay active on the American Cancer Society website.

          Previous Milestone
          Next Milestone
        • Relapse

            Treating multiple myeloma after relapse

            Everyone's journey with multiple myeloma is different. It is a cancer that requires a long-term treatment plan, and there may be times when the disease goes away and when it comes back. When symptoms return, it may feel like a setback.

            Watch this video about Lucy, who received VELCADE (bortezomib) after her symptoms of multiple myeloma came back.

            Nurse Notes

            VELCADE® (bortezomib) has worked for me before.
            Can it work again?

            If you have achieved a benefit with your first therapy but have relapsed more than 6 months later, national cancer treatment guidelines highly recommend retreating with the same drug before starting another treatment.

            If you meet the criteria above, retreatment with VELCADE (bortezomib) may offer you an additional benefit. You should also know that in a clinical trial, side effects did not get worse with retreatment.

            Stay informed about your treatment by speaking with your healthcare team.

            Nurse Notes

            Receiving VELCADE® (bortezomib) for the first time upon relapse

            You've been living with multiple myeloma for a while now. You've learned a lot about it, but you probably still have questions and may need additional support with your new treatment. Since you are receiving VELCADE (bortezomib) for the first time, a Patient Resource Kit may answer many of your questions and provide the kind of support you are looking for.

            Ask your nurse to send you information so you can order the VELCADE Patient Resource Kit.

            Nurse Notes
            Previous Milestone
            Next Milestone

          Indications and Important Safety Information for VELCADE® (bortezomib)

          What is VELCADE used for?

          VELCADE (bortezomib) is approved for the treatment of people with multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cells).

          How is VELCADE administered?

          VELCADE is prescribed by a doctor experienced in the use of medications to treat cancer. It is administered by a healthcare professional as an injection into your vein (intravenously, or IV) or under your skin (subcutaneously). VELCADE must not be administered into your spinal fluid (intrathecally).

          Who should not receive VELCADE?

          Before you receive treatment with VELCADE, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. You should not receive VELCADE if you are allergic to bortezomib, boron, or mannitol.

          What are the possible side effects of VELCADE?

          VELCADE (bortezomib) can cause serious side effects, including:

          • Peripheral neuropathy. VELCADE can cause damage to the nerves, a condition called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel muscle weakness, tingling, burning, pain, and loss of feeling in your hands and feet, any of which can be severe. Tell your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE or stop it altogether. If you have peripheral neuropathy before starting VELCADE, your doctor could consider giving you VELCADE subcutaneously.
          • Low blood pressure. VELCADE can cause a drop in blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have low blood pressure, feel dizzy, or feel as though you might faint. If you are taking drugs that lower blood pressure, your medications might need to be adjusted. If you are not drinking enough liquids, your doctor may need to administer IV fluids.
          • Heart problems. Treatment with VELCADE can cause or worsen heart rhythm problems and heart failure. Your doctor may closely monitor you if you have, or are at risk for, heart disease. Tell your doctor if you experience chest pressure or pain, palpitations, swelling of your ankles or feet, or shortness of breath.
          • Lung problems. There have been reports of lung disorders in people receiving VELCADE. Some of these events have been fatal. Tell your doctor if you experience any cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.
          • Liver problems. If you have liver problems, it can be harder for your body to get rid of VELCADE. VELCADE has caused sudden liver failure in people who were taking many medications or had other serious medical conditions. Symptoms of liver problems include a yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin (jaundice) and changes in liver enzymes measured in blood tests. Your doctor will closely monitor you if you have liver disease.
          • Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). There have been reports of a rare, reversible condition involving the brain, called PRES, in people treated with VELCADE. People with PRES can have seizures, high blood pressure, headaches, tiredness, confusion, blindness, or other vision problems. Treatment with VELCADE should be stopped in cases of PRES.
          • Gastrointestinal problems. VELCADE (bortezomib) treatment can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend IV fluids and/or medications.
          • Neutropenia (low levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell). VELCADE can cause low levels of white blood cells (infection-fighting cells). If your white blood cells become low, you can be at higher risk for infections. Tell your doctor if you develop a fever or believe you have an infection.
          • Thrombocytopenia (low levels of platelets). VELCADE can cause low levels of platelets (clot-forming cells). If platelets become very low, there is an increased risk of bleeding. Your doctor may recommend a platelet transfusion or other supportive care.
            You will have regular blood tests to check your cell counts during your treatment with VELCADE. If the number of these cells is very low, your doctor may change the dose and/or schedule of VELCADE.
          • Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS). TLS is a syndrome that causes a chemical imbalance in the blood that could lead to heart and/or kidney problems. TLS can occur with cancer treatments, and your doctor will be monitoring your blood and urine for any signs of this syndrome. If you develop TLS, your doctor will take appropriate steps to treat it.

          More than 1 in 5 people (20%) receiving VELCADE have experienced the following side effects in one or more clinical trials: neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, leukopenia (low levels of white blood cells), anemia, constipation, neuralgia (nerve pain), vomiting, lymphopenia (low levels of a certain type of white blood cells), rash, pyrexia (fever), and anorexia.

          What other information should you discuss with your doctor?

          Women should avoid becoming pregnant or breast-feeding while being treated with VELCADE (bortezomib). Tell your doctor immediately if you think you are pregnant. Discuss with your doctor when it is safe to restart breast-feeding after finishing your treatment.

          You should also tell your doctor if you:

          • Have kidney disease. If you are on dialysis, your doctor will administer VELCADE after the dialysis procedure.
          • Are taking medication for diabetes. VELCADE can affect your blood glucose levels. Your doctor may require close monitoring of your blood glucose levels and change the dose of your diabetes medicine while you are being treated with VELCADE.
          • Have liver disease.
          • Are using any other medications, including prescription and nonprescription medications, herbal or dietary supplements, or holistic treatments. St. John’s wort should be avoided.
          • Develop a rash of any type or have skin pain while receiving VELCADE.

          The side effects of VELCADE may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery.

          These are not all of the possible side effects with VELCADE. It is important to always contact your doctor if you experience any side effects while on VELCADE. If you have any questions about VELCADE, contact your doctor. Additional information is available on the website at VELCADE.com.

          Please read the full Prescribing Information for VELCADE, including Warnings and Precautions.