If a patient’s symptoms become severe enough, the effect of the T cells can be tempered with tocilizumab or corticosteroids; however, this should be avoided to prevent interfering with the antimalignancy effect of the CAR T cells.

The oncology nurses’ role in monitoring and early recognition of the signs and symptoms of CAR T-cell toxicities is significant considering the potential severity of these adverse effects. Nurses’ ability to identify these adverse effects is essential to early intervention and safe management by the multidisciplinary team. “Having a written plan can help prevent confusion and provide guidelines for the patient’s care,” said Ms Hansen.

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Established supportive care guidelines for adult patients receiving CAR T cells can help oncology nurses to know what signs and symptoms to monitor for and communicate to the medical team to allow early intervention, the researchers conclude. 

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s coverage of the 2017 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference by visiting the conference page.


1. Hansen B, Cotton S, Brudno J, Kochenderfer J. Nursing implications of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. Oral presentation at: Oncology Nursing Society 42nd Annual Congress; May 4-7, 2017; Denver, CO.