The following article features coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2020 virtual meeting. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

An immune-oncology education and monitoring program for patients with cancer improved self-efficacy, according to results presented during the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program.

Patients were recruited from the William Osler Health System in Canada between 2018 and 2019. Adult patients with cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) underwent a standard nursing assessment and were enrolled in an educational class. Patients identified as high risk (risk of grade 3/4 immune-related adverse event [irAE] more than 20%) received weekly phone calls. Cancer Behavior Inventory Brief Version B (CBI-B) was implemented to assess patient self-efficacy (ie, confidence to manage their symptoms).

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The patients had a median age of 69, were 70% male, and 77% white. The highest level of education was elementary (19%), high school (30%), trade school (26%), and postsecondary (21%). Determined by cancer health literacy test 6 (CHLT6), 41% had limited cancer health literacy.

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The patients had 3 cancer types: 55% had non-small cell lung cancer, 19% melanoma, and 9% renal cell carcinoma. The prescribed ICIs were 70% monotherapy anti-PD1/PDL1, 13% nivolumab and ipilimumab, and 17% anti-PD1/PDL1 with chemotherapy or other therapies.

The investigators observed a significant improvement to the average CBI-B score after education (P <.001). Some patients (43%) experienced more than 1 irAE, of those 65% were grades 1/2. Three patients were admitted to the emergency department due to an irAE. Discontinuation of ICIs due to toxicity was reported by 8.8% of patients.

The study authors concluded that in this diverse patient group, an education and monitoring program improved patient self-efficacy.

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.


Cheema P K, Nematollahi M, Berco F, et al. Impact of an immune-oncology (IO) education/monitoring program on patient’s self-efficacy and adverse event reporting from immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Presented at: ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program. J Clin Oncol. 2020;38(suppl):abstr 2032.