Combination therapy is a treatment modality that combines two or more drugs, and it has become a cornerstone of cancer treatment. Combination regimens can decrease the risk of a tumor becoming drug-resistant, increase the chances of eliminating cancers by targeting several cancer growth processes simultaneously, and, in some cases, improve survival. But despite these benefits, combination therapies are not without risks, particularly when they incorporate both IV and oral therapies.
The risks associated with combination regimens include the potential for additional side effects, the difficulty of determining which medication is responsible for them, and the challenge of ensuring accurate patient adherence to often-complex medication schedules. Because oral medications are taken at home, care team members have less control over patient adherence to prescribed regimens.
To better help community cancer centers help their patients adhere to combined IV and oral therapy treatment regimens, this project will highlight effective practices that address: coordination of care; the management of adverse events and side effects; and patient and provider education about treatment adherence, persistence, and compliance. To achieve this, ACCC will engage a multidisciplinary panel of experts to serve on a project advisory committee, conduct patient and provider surveys and interviews, and hold two focus groups that will address education about potential adverse events and the psychosocial impact of combination therapy regimens. In so doing, this initiative will gather information about the complexities of managing patients with cancer on IV/oral combination treatments in the community setting and profile effective practices that address those challenges.
For more information about this project, please contact Elana Plotkin, CMP-HC, Assistant Director, ACCC Provider Education.
This project is supported by Pfizer Oncology.