The following article features coverage from the 2017 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.            

Because there are unique adverse events related to immunotherapy treatment compared with other types of cancer treatments, it is crucial that oncology nurses are proactive in their assessment of side effects and the education of their patients. Ongoing research that will be presented at the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS) 42nd Annual Congress sought to improve care for patients by standardizing nursing assessment and management of immune mediated adverse effects and improving patient education related to immunotherapy treatment and side effects.

Monica Fradkin RN, BSN, MPH, OCN, Smilow Cancer Hospital @ Yale New Haven, and colleagues created a nursing assessment flowsheet that aimed to standardize the documentation and assessment of adverse events related to immunotherapy. The researchers also developed multidisciplinary education that targeted awareness of the assessment, identification, and management of immune-mediated adverse events. In addition, the researchers are developing an online, interactive tool that educates patents and caregivers about immune-mediated adverse events. In addition, the researchers created an electronic medical health record alert for patients who present with symptoms potentially related to their treatment outside of oncology-specialized centers (such as emergency rooms). The goal of this alert is to bring specialized staff into the process to ensure that expert management occurs.

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The researchers expect that their results will demonstrate that these actions will lead to earlier identification of immune-mediated adverse events and improved data collection in regards to the occurrence, severity, and trends in immune-mediated adverse events.

“Use of innovative patient education strategies can enhance the delivery of complex content and improve patient comprehension which may result in timely symptom recognition minimizing the need for treatment interruption or delay,” the researchers concluded.

Ms Fradkin will be presenting updated data on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 2:45 pm in the Mile High Ballroom 4 A-c at the Denver Colorado Convention Center.

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


1. Fradkin M, Barbarotta L, Duffield E, et al. Leveraging technology to optimize the care of patients treated with immunotherapy [Abstract 31]. 2017 Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress; May 4-7, 2017; Denver, CO.