Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment

This instructional course has been designed for healthcare clinicians administering and/or caring for the patient receiving parenteral immunotherapy. All clinicians involved in infusing immunotherapeutic agents and those caring for patients receiving these medications need a working knowledge of the diagnoses for which they are given, side effects of the drugs, appropriate interventions, and the psychological implications of having these diseases and receiving treatment for them. These drugs are double-edged swords. They can treat cancer effectively but are also associated with significant and dangerous adverse effects. Therefore, education related specifically to immunotherapy is crucial to the safe and effective use of these drugs.  

State Boards of Nursing have varying positions on the role of the LPN/LVN in the administration of infusion therapy, including the administration of immunotherapeutic agents. A link to each state board of nursing is listed here. Competency requirements are obtained and maintained through the nurse¹s employer, facility or institution.

Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:

  1. State the relationship between monoclonal antibodies and cancer cell antigens.
  2. Identify at least three different classes of immunotherapy used for the treatment of cancer.
  3. Identify the recommended treatments/actions for immunotherapy adverse effects, both grades 1 or 2 and grades 3 or 4.
  4. Explain the purpose of a REMS program.

Curriculum

Chapter 1: Introduction to Immunotherapy

  • Definition
  • Goals of intervention
  • Immunotherapy approaches

Chapter 2: Immunotherapy Classifications

  • Monoclonal antibodies
    • Naked monoclonal antibodies
    • Conjugated monoclonal antibodies
    • Bispecific monoclonal antibodies
    • Immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • Cytokines
  • Oncolytic virus therapy
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Autologous vaccine/T-cell therapy
  • Immunomodulatory agents

Chapter 3: Immunotherapy Side Effects

  • Hypersensivitiy reactions
  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome
  • Myelosuppression
    • Anemia
    • Neutropenia
    • Thrombocytopenia
  • Cardiopulmonary
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Integumentary
  • Neurological
  • Reproductive
  • Miscellaneous

Chapter 4: Safe Handling

  • USP <800>
  • Preparation
  • Administration
  • Disposal
  • Bodily Discharges

Chapter 5: Administration

  • Pre‐administration activities
  • Routes of administration

Chapter 6: Psychological Considerations

Chapter 7: Bibliography

  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $15.00

Contact Hours: 1.5

Course Author

Pamela Clark

Pamela Clark, CRNI, is an infusion nurse with the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. She has more than 35 years of experience in infusion therapy and infusion education with both licensed nurses and patients. Her experience spans multiple infusion settings including: acute care, long-term care, home infusion, and ambulatory infusion care. She also has experience in oncology and oncology research.

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