Review Article

Optimizing Communication and Adherence to Iron Chelation Therapy From Diagnosis to Treatment in Patients With Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Jayshree Shah, AOCNP®, FNP-C, RN, MSN, BSN, BS, and Phyllis McKiernan, APN, MSN, OCN®

Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, New Jersey

Authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Jayshree Shah, AOCNP®, FNP-C, RN, MSN, BSN, BS, Medical Oncology, John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, 92 Second Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601. E-mail: JShah@HackensackUMC.org


J Adv Pract Oncol 2016;7:707–717 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2016.7.7.3 | © 2016 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a heterogeneous group of blood diseases, are usually diagnosed in older individuals, with a median age at diagnosis of more than 70 years. Anemia is a common symptom in patients with MDS and may require frequent red blood cell transfusions, which can lead to iron overload. Iron chelation therapy is recommended to decrease iron concentrations in tissue and minimize organ dysfunction. However, the currently available iron chelation therapies are associated with side effects, financial constraints, and dosing issues, which may affect patient adherence. Moreover, many patients with MDS lack an understanding of the disease and their prognosis and treatments. This review can be used in the advanced practice setting to discuss the importance of communicating with patients about MDS from the time of diagnosis and will explore strategies to enhance adherence to iron chelation therapy. An individualized approach that weighs the risks and benefits of treatment for older patients with MDS will allow advanced practitioners to set expectations while developing adherence strategies to optimize outcomes. This approach provides a platform for advanced practitioners to communicate with patients to ensure they understand the natural history of MDS, their individual prognoses, and the goals of both active treatment and supportive care.




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