Support Program for Melanoma Patients Receiving Interferon

June 1, 1997

NEW YORK--Cancer Care, Inc. has introduced Crossing Bridges, a national program to provide medically accurate information and ongoing emotional support to malignant melanoma patients receiving adjuvant therapy with interferon alfa-2b (Intron A).

NEW YORK--Cancer Care, Inc. has introduced Crossing Bridges,a national program to provide medically accurate information and ongoingemotional support to malignant melanoma patients receiving adjuvant therapywith interferon alfa-2b (Intron A).

The program, made possible by a grant from Schering-Plough Corporation,is designed to encourage treatment compliance by providing diverse supportservices during the entire treatment period

"The side effects during Intron A therapy can be significant, particularlyat the beginning," said John Kirkwood, MD, of the University of PittsburghCancer Institute. "I call it 'a flu in a bottle'; ie, headaches, fever,nausea, and loss of appetite."

These symptoms and the year-long treatment can be emotionally challenging."Someone will be there to guide patients every step of the way,"said Diane Blum, executive director of Cancer Care.

Patients will receive a journal to log thoughts and questions, and charttherapy milestones; a list of support services and recommended readings;one-on-one counseling and support groups through Cancer Care (1-800-813-HOPE);a monthly phone call from a nurse counselor; and information about theBuddy Program, which pairs a current patient with someone who has successfullycompleted treatment.