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    Hi. as we all know, one of the most important part in the immuno treatment ( in any treatment really) is the educational part done by us-nurses.I was wondering if you can share what are the subjects you “cover” on your meeting with the patient after the treatment decision has been made….

    Expert Nurse
    Avatar photoKathleen Madden

      HI Yael,
      You are so correct that although each clinical provider on the team is responsible for understanding, educating and assessing immune related adverse events ( irAE’s), it is more often nurses who are the point person for education. Educational encounters occur at the beginning of treatment, during treatment and ongoing support after treatment. The types of adverse events covered in educational sessions are the ones that are found in the prescrbing information for immunotherapies:
      We commonly start with the most prevalent, Derm & GI, then discussing less common irAE’s but ones that could become clinically significant if not identified & intervened with, which are Endocrine, Pulmonary, Renal, Hepatotoxicity, Neuropathy/ other Neurologic changes, ocular toxicity. We always keep in mind that ANY organ system can be impacted but we know that the above listed organ systems are the ones recommended that we oversee closely for patients who are or have been tretated with an immuontherapy.

      For additional supportive resources please visit the Home page of, there are downloadable & printable materials, that can serve as a guide when you are reviewing irAE’s with a patient. Visiting the product / drug homepages and prescribing information is always recommended to keep abreast of any updates or changes.

      thank you so much for your inquiry, I hope it is helpful to you!

      Expert Nurse
      Avatar photoKrista Rubin

        I believe Kathy’s point that education occurs not only BEFORE a patient starts treatment, but DURING, as well as ONGOING education is so critical. We all know that patients hear about 20% of what they are informed…so repeat education is key.

        When I see patients, I also try to include “practical” information as well.
        For example, in the winter here in New England- it snows! So- including information about what they should do if they do not feel they can safely get to our facility, or, if a snow storm shuts the road down. I also include information about drinking alcohol, what happens if they have vacation plans (do they need to cancel), about whether or not they can drink alcohol. Safe sexual practices are also discussed if appropriate.

        We all know just how much there is to cover with cancer treatment education and clearly this can not be provided in one session. Having a variety of educational materials available is ideal to reach ALL types of learners: verbal information, written, and, if possible, various media related educational tools. Videos, DVDs, on-line, etc.

        If anyone has examples of tools, or resources they use, we would love to hear about them!!! The more resources we can provide to our patients (and to each other) – the better.

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