How does chemotherapy agent substitution affect the overall survival rate of oncology patients? — Denise Baker, MSN, RNC-TNP, OCN

Definitively, how agent substitution affects the overall survival rate of oncology patients is not quantifiable as of yet; however, what is understood about drug substitution is that it is a very risky process that can lead to the death of the patient. Unpredictable drug shortages lead to rationing of care and prioritizing treatment accordingly to accommodate those patients with the potential for cure or more favorable outcomes. The greatest compromise to overall survival is appreciated when there are no drug substitutions available for specific regimens, such as cytarabine for the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).  — Jiajoyce R. Conway, DNP, CRNP, FNP-C, AOCNP