Authors: Tara Perloff, Monique Dawkins, Jennie Robertson Crews, Jeffrey P. Gregg, Ivo Abraham, Lee S. Schwartzberg; Association of Community Cancer Centers, Rockville, MD; Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA; University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, AZ; West Cancer Center, Germantown, TN
Background: The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Immuno-Oncology Institute was developed in 2015 to prepare all members of the multidisciplinary cancer care team for the complex implementation of immuno-oncology in the community setting. Today, with more than 50 cancer immunotherapy indications and over 2,500 clinical trials with cancer immunotherapies, the challenges and issues related to recognizing and managing immune-related adverse events (irAEs) have grown even more complex for community practitioners.
Methods: The ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute assembled 4 working groups focused on addressing the diverse issues around the delivery and management of patients on cancer immunotherapies. The working groups were divided by 4 topics: staff training and education; multispecialty care coordination and communication; telemedicine; and big data. A detailed systemic review of the literature was conducted for each topic in the context of immuno-oncology, to determine the current landscape of information and available resources. The findings were then shared with the working group members and collaborative discussions ensued over 12 virtual committee meetings. The 19 working group members are diverse by discipline, including specialties such as emergency medicine, dermatology, primary care, survivorship, pathology, and academic researchers.
Results: The ACCC Working Group Summit convened in September 2018 to develop innovative educational opportunities for community practitioners related to managing irAEs across the 4 topic areas. Eight unique action plans were developed by working group members.
Conclusions: For each of the 4 key areas, working group members identified a list of opportunities that would improve how clinicians are managing irAEs for patients being treated with immunotherapy. It is critical for future educational interventions to encompass the multispecialty team perspective related to the management of irAEs.