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PAtient CEntricity Award de la Belgian Hematology Society

News (07/02/2022)

The Jules Bordet Institute Hematology Department honoured with PAtient CEntricity Award from the Belgian Hematology Society.

This Saturday 5 February 2022, the Institute's Hematology Department was honoured with the PACE Award and a grant of 10 000 euros for its project for a multidisciplinary approach to managing pain caused by drugs administered to treat multiple myeloma.

Dr. Marie Vercruyssen, hématologue - Benjamin Depoorter, kinésithérapeute en hématologie - Pr. Nathalie Meuleman, cheffe du Service d’Hématologie
Dr. Marie Vercruyssen, hematologist - Benjamin Depoorter, hematology physiotherapist - Pr. Nathalie Meuleman, head of the Hematology Department

Thanks to progress in research, the treatment of multiple myeloma has improved considerably in recent years. Nevertheless, some drugs cause neuropathic pain in patients. The chemotherapies   administered affect the nerves and induce a loss of sensitivity of the skin of the hands and feet as well as sensations of tingling, pins and needles, cold or even of electric shock. To reduce these side effects, hematologists have recourse to drug treatment to combat this pain that impairs the quality of life of patients. They are sometimes also forced to reduce the chemotherapy doses which is not in the interests of an optimal myeloma treatment. 

A multidisciplinary approach to pain management
To overcome these obstacles, Benjamin Depoorter, physiotherapist specialising in hematology, Dr. Marie Vercruyssen, hematologist, and Pr. Nathalie Meuleman, head of the Hematology Department, propose a multidisciplinary approach to managing neuropathic pain.   Physiotherapists, nurses and psychologists offer a combination of physical activities, physiotherapy sessions and hypnosis as a means of improving sensitivity, reducing pain and thereby improving the quality of life of patients. This is also a way for the patient to become an actor in managing his or her pain by reproducing the proposed exercises and practicing techniques of self-hypnosis. Reducing neuropathic pain by means of these various methods will permit less frequent recourse to painkillers and remove the need to reduce doses of anticancer agents. The result will be a more effective treatment of the myeloma.  

A pain management particularly useful for autologous transplant patients
This proposal for a multidisciplinary approach to pain management can be particularly useful for autologous transplant patients. Autologous transplantation is a multiple myeloma treatment that consists of taking stem cells from the patient, increasing the chemotherapy and then re-injecting the stem cells into the body. An autologous transplant patient is hospitalised for two or three weeks, during which he or she moves much less, receives more intensive chemotherapy and suffers more intense neuropathic pain as a result. Turning to physiotherapy and hypnosis enables the patient to better manage anxiety and pain and thereby avoid recourse to painkillers. The patient is provided with a set of tools so that he or she can continue to practice the physiotherapy and self-hypnosis exercises after hospitalisation. 

The Hematology Department honoured with the PACE Award for this project
The grant of 10 000 euros from the Belgian Hematology Society will make it possible to train a physiotherapist and nurses skilled in methods of hypnosis and to purchase additional equipment for the physiotherapy and hypnosis sessions. The aim is to be able to adjust each proposal to the needs and sensibilities of the individual patient and thereby propose a personalised and multidisciplinary approach in which a hematologist, physiotherapist, psychologist, nurse and of course the patient are all involved. 

  • About the Belgian Hematology Society
    The Belgian Hematology Society is a scientific society composed of clinical hematologists, laboratory hematologists, researchers, nurses and allied healthcare professionals with a specific interest in the field of hematology.  The BHS organises conferences and other scientific meetings, runs teaching and training programmes, develops translational and fundamental research studies, and establishes national and international collaborations in the field of hematology.   
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