Why the Amgen launch of MMU matters: An interview with the COS team
by Kaye Gardner, Director, Clinical Oncology Specialists at Amgen
As Amgen launches Multiple Myeloma University, our online educational resource for nurses who care for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM), the Clinical Oncology Specialists (COSs) gathered to share their goals and aspirations for the initiative. As advocates who share a common experience, their input formed the foundation for this site.
Sharing their insights were:
COSs are nurses by training and Amgen representatives. They do not provide medical advice or clinical consultation.
Here are some highlights and key learning from the conversation:
What does MMU offer?
Amgen promotional and educational resources, in the form of in-service presentations, is one of the primary offerings of MMU. The COS team members shared stories reflecting on the value other nurses had provided in helping them learn about specific conditions. Suzy Graham said, “There’s a lot of value in the programs we provide. We’ve walked in their shoes, and we’ve all hung these agents, so we uniquely understand relapsed and refractory myeloma and the clinical value of KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib).”
We've walked in their shoes”
What can MMU provide after a COS in-service presentation?
Education doesn’t stop at in-service presentations. The promotional resources and educational materials available through MMU are available at any time, so nurses have quick access to the reference material they might need when they have a RRMM patient under their care.
MMU will expand over time to house various types of reference material for RRMM and KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib), including an easy mechanism to request materials, such as KYPROLIS® Patient Starter Kits. This way, nurses can request quantity as needed as opposed to storing material in their office.
We know what you need to know, and we're here to support you”
Why does RRMM present an interesting educational opportunity for nurses?
“In general oncology clinics, nurses may be very comfortable with other forms of cancer, but RRMM is different, and there is lots to know,” says Cathy. “As soon as that patient comes in, we want to be that Amgen resource for nurses. To say, we understand, we know what you want to know, and we are here to support you until this information is as automatic like some of the other cancers you see all the time.”
What is the greater goal for MMU?
“More than anything else, we want to be there for the nurses in our respective territories as they work with RRMM patients,” said Laura. “I hope in the minds of every nurse I see, my name is synonymous with RRMM and KYPROLIS®.” She went on to say that when a nurse has a question about RRMM she wants them to think, “I’m going to call my Amgen COS, because she’s the person that gives me the info I need, leaves me with the material I need, and I get a lot of value from my time with her.”
We all share that greater goal for MMU! So here's to the launch of MMU, and all the learning, sharing, and growing that will happen for the benefit of patients with RRMM.
Important Safety Information
- New onset or worsening of pre-existing cardiac failure (e.g., congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, decreased ejection fraction), restrictive cardiomyopathy, myocardial ischemia, and myocardial infarction including fatalities have occurred following administration of KYPROLIS. Some events occurred in patients with normal baseline ventricular function. Death due to cardiac arrest has occurred within one day of KYPROLIS administration.
- Monitor patients for clinical signs or symptoms of cardiac failure or cardiac ischemia. Evaluate promptly if cardiac toxicity is suspected. Withhold KYPROLIS for Grade 3 or 4 cardiac adverse events until recovery, and consider whether to restart KYPROLIS at 1 dose level reduction based on a benefit/risk assessment.
- While adequate hydration is required prior to each dose in Cycle 1, monitor all patients for evidence of volume overload, especially patients at risk for cardiac failure. Adjust total fluid intake as clinically appropriate in patients with baseline cardiac failure or who are at risk for cardiac failure.
- Patients ≥ 75 years, the risk of cardiac failure is increased. Patients with New York Heart Association Class III and IV heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, conduction abnormalities, angina, or arrhythmias may be at greater risk for cardiac complications and should have a comprehensive medical assessment (including blood pressure control and fluid management) prior to starting treatment with KYPROLIS and remain under close follow-up.
Acute Renal Failure
- Cases of acute renal failure, including some fatal renal failure events, and renal insufficiency adverse events (including renal failure) have occurred in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Acute renal failure was reported more frequently in patients with advanced relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who received KYPROLIS monotherapy. Monitor renal function with regular measurement of the serum creatinine and/or estimated creatinine clearance. Reduce or withhold dose as appropriate.
Tumor Lysis Syndrome
- Cases of Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS), including fatal outcomes, have occurred in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Patients with multiple myeloma and a high tumor burden should be considered at greater risk for TLS. Adequate hydration is required prior to each dose in Cycle 1, and in subsequent cycles as needed. Consider uric acid lowering drugs in patients at risk for TLS. Monitor for evidence of TLS during treatment and manage promptly. Withhold KYPROLIS until TLS is resolved.
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), acute respiratory failure, and acute diffuse infiltrative pulmonary disease such as pneumonitis and interstitial lung disease have occurred in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Some events have been fatal. In the event of drug‐induced pulmonary toxicity, discontinue KYPROLIS.
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was reported in patients treated with KYPROLIS. Evaluate with cardiac imaging and/or other tests as indicated. Withhold KYPROLIS for PAH until resolved or returned to baseline and consider whether to restart KYPROLIS based on a benefit/risk assessment.
- Dyspnea was reported in patients treated with KYPROLIS. Evaluate dyspnea to exclude cardiopulmonary conditions including cardiac failure and pulmonary syndromes. Stop KYPROLIS for Grade 3 or 4 dyspnea until resolved or returned to baseline. Consider whether to restart KYPROLIS based on a benefit/risk assessment.
- Hypertension, including hypertensive crisis and hypertensive emergency, has been observed with KYPROLIS. Some of these events have been fatal. It is recommended to control hypertension prior to starting KYPROLIS. Monitor blood pressure regularly in all patients. If hypertension cannot be adequately controlled, withhold KYPROLIS and evaluate. Consider whether to restart KYPROLIS based on a benefit/risk assessment.
- Venous thromboembolic events (including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) have been observed with KYPROLIS. Thromboprophylaxis is recommended for patients being treated with the combination of KYPROLIS with dexamethasone or with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone. The thromboprophylaxis regimen should be based on an assessment of the patient’s underlying risks.
- Patients using oral contraceptives or a hormonal method of contraception associated with a risk of thrombosis should consider an alternative method of effective contraception during treatment with KYPROLIS in combination with dexamethasone or lenalidomide plus dexamethasone.
- Infusion reactions, including life‐threatening reactions, have occurred in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Symptoms include fever, chills, arthralgia, myalgia, facial flushing, facial edema, vomiting, weakness, shortness of breath, hypotension, syncope, chest tightness, or angina. These reactions can occur immediately following or up to 24 hours after administration of KYPROLIS. Premedicate with dexamethasone to reduce the incidence and severity of infusion reactions. Inform patients of the risk and of symptoms of an infusion reaction and to contact a physician immediately if they occur.
- Fatal or serious cases of hemorrhage have been reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Hemorrhagic events have included gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and intracranial hemorrhage and epistaxis. Promptly evaluate signs and symptoms of blood loss. Reduce or withhold dose as appropriate.
- KYPROLIS causes thrombocytopenia with recovery to baseline platelet count usually by the start of the next cycle. Thrombocytopenia was reported in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Monitor platelet counts frequently during treatment with KYPROLIS. Reduce or withhold dose as appropriate.
Hepatic Toxicity and Hepatic Failure
- Cases of hepatic failure, including fatal cases, have been reported during treatment with KYPROLIS. KYPROLIS can cause increased serum transaminases. Monitor liver enzymes regularly regardless of baseline values. Reduce or withhold dose as appropriate.
- Cases of thrombotic microangiopathy, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS), including fatal outcome have occurred in patients receiving KYPROLIS. Monitor for signs and symptoms of TTP/HUS. Discontinue KYPROLIS if diagnosis is suspected. If the diagnosis of TTP/HUS is excluded, KYPROLIS may be restarted. The safety of reinitiating KYPROLIS therapy in patients previously experiencing TTP/HUS is not known.
Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES)
- Cases of PRES have occurred in patients receiving KYPROLIS. PRES was formerly known as Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome. Consider a neuro‐radiological imaging (MRI) for onset of visual or neurological symptoms. Discontinue KYPROLIS if PRES is suspected and evaluate. The safety of reinitiating KYPROLIS therapy in patients previously experiencing PRES is not known.
Increased Fatal and Serious Toxicities in Combination with Melphalan and Prednisone in Newly Diagnosed Transplant-ineligible Patients
- In a clinical trial of transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma comparing KYPROLIS, melphalan, and prednisone (KMP) vs bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone (VMP), a higher incidence of serious and fatal adverse events was observed in patients in the KMP arm. KYPROLIS in combination with melphalan and prednisone is not indicated for transplant-ineligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.
- KYPROLIS can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals.
- Females of reproductive potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while being treated with KYPROLIS. Males of reproductive potential should be advised to avoid fathering a child while being treated with KYPROLIS. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if pregnancy occurs while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
- The most common adverse reactions occurring in at least 20% of patients treated with KYPROLIS in the combination therapy trials: anemia, neutropenia, diarrhea, dyspnea, fatigue, thrombocytopenia, pyrexia, insomnia, muscle spasm, cough, upper respiratory tract infection, hypokalemia.
- The most common adverse reactions occurring in at least 20% of patients treated with KYPROLIS in monotherapy trials: anemia, fatigue, thrombocytopenia, nausea, pyrexia, dyspnea, diarrhea, headache, cough edema peripheral.
Please see full Prescribing Information.
- KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib) is indicated in combination with dexamethasone or with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one to three lines of therapy.
- KYPROLIS® is indicated as a single agent for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received one or more lines of therapy.