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Virtual Toxicity Teams

As immunotherapies are increasingly used for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers, oncologists are challenged to identify the specialist expertise they need to address the immune-related adverse events (irAEs) that can accompany these therapies. While cancer programs seek to build effective strategies to create a team approach toward managing irAEs, some are creating a virtual space in which multiple specialists can connect and discuss how best to address the toxicities that can arise when patients receive immunotherapy for cancer. This three article series explores how the cancer programs at Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland Clinic, and Jefferson Health are taking similar yet unique approaches to recruiting specialists outside the field of oncology to participate in immunotherapy toxicity teams both in-person and virtually. 


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    Virtual Toxicity Team: Cleveland Clinic

    How do interest specialists outside the field of oncology in participating in an inter-specialty immune-related adverse events (irAEs) tumor board? Cleveland Clinic discovered the key is to recruit physician champions who are not oncologists.

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    Virtual Toxicity Team: Jefferson Health

    At Jefferson Health, detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring immune-related adverse events (irAEs) that may results from treatment with immunotherapies for cancer is a group effort. To provide scheduling flexibility and the ability to respond to queries as they arise, the 11-member Jefferson Immuno-Oncology Working groups meets online on an as-needed basis.

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    Virtual Toxicity Team: Johns Hopkins University
    Johns Hopkins was one of the first institutions to use immunotherapies to treat intractable cancers. Because IO therapies can affect any of the body's organ systems, there was early recognition of the value of having a multidisciplinary team of organ specialists who could bring their expertise to the treatment of patients experiencing immune-related adverse events (irAEs).