Training & Education

Members of the ACCC IO Institute Executive Committee discuss the importance of tailoring immunotherapy patient education based on the unique needs of each cancer center. (features  David Ettinger, MD, FACP, FCCP; Mark Faries, MD; and Niesha Griffith, MS, RPH, FASHP )


As more patients with cancer are treated with immunotherapy and as treatment regimens continue to evolve, the multidisciplinary cancer care team needs ongoing education and training to ensure that patients receive optimal care. To provide the best care possible for patients treated with IO agents, providers need access to timely and relevant education to improve cancer diagnosis and patient selection, the recognition and management of immune-related adverse events (irAEs), and the effective use of survivorship care plans. The IO Training & Education Working Group is composed of multidisciplinary care providers experienced in the delivery of immunotherapy for cancer.

Meet the members of the IO Training & Education Working Group.

Shelley Fuld Nasso
Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP
Chief Executive Officer
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

Shelley Fuld Nasso is chief executive officer of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), where she leads the public policy activities at a time of rapid and fundamental healthcare system change.

Prior to joining NCCS in 2012, Ms. Nasso served in leadership roles at Susan G. Komen, where she leveraged Komen’s grassroots network in Washington, D.C., and state capitals. There she built relationships with policymakers and partner organizations and led a team of staff and volunteers to influence state budgets and legislation. Under her direction, Komen successfully secured $80 million in state funding for cancer screening and treatment for uninsured and underinsured women.

Ms. Nasso and her team also expanded the Komen grassroots advocacy program from a pilot of seven affiliates to more than 100 affiliates across the country engaged in federal and state advocacy efforts. Formerly, she served as director of community philanthropy at The Dallas Foundation and held management positions at communications and technology enterprises.

Joanne Riemer_headshot
Joanne Riemer, RN, BSN
Research Oncology Nurse
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

Joanne Riemer, RN, BSN, began her nursing career at Johns Hopkins Hospital as an inpatient nurse on the solid tumor oncology unit. From there she moved into critical care in coronary care, intensive care, emergency, and recovery rooms. In 2002, she returned to oncology at Johns Hopkins in the outpatient infusion area, then radiation oncology, staff education, and in 2010 to her current position as senior research nurse on the Upper Aero-digestive Team. In January 2011, she was asked to work with the immunology group on a multidisease study using MDX-1106, which became BMS-936558 and then Nivolumab. She was assigned to the non-small cell lung cancer patients and since then has been almost exclusively working with immunotherapy trials.

In addition to her involvement with the immunotherapy trials, she and fellow colleagues created a booklet for oncology nurses treating patients with immuno-oncology agents. The booklet is an overview of these agents' indications and mechanisms of action and suspected related side effects.

Ryan Weight
Ryan Weight, DO, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Oncology
University of Colorado
Denver, Colorado

Ryan Weight, DO, MS, joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty in 2019 as an assistant professor of medicine with a focus on the treatment of skin malignancies, including melanoma. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Weight served as an assistant professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.  In 2017, Dr. Weight was appointed leader of the cutaneous malignancy service line within the melanoma division of medical oncology. Dr. Weight established and served as co-director of the Complex Cutaneous Oncology Multidisciplinary Clinic in the Center for Heritable and Connective Tissue Skin Diseases, which brought together dermatology and medical oncology services for the treatment of dysplastic nevus syndrome, patients with a genetic predisposition to skin cancer, erythema bullosum, and others.

Dr. Weight has an interest in the management of immune-related adverse events caused by immune-activating therapies commonly used for the treatment of skin cancers. He served as director of the Immuno-Oncology Clinical Working Group at Thomas Jefferson University (2016- 2018), and as principal investigator for a number of clinical trials focused on the treatment of melanoma, including early phase trials. He has co-authored a multi-center adjuvant study of Nivolumab for the treatment of resected high-risk melanoma patients. 

Insights from this working group

  • COVID-19 and Patients Receiving Anticancer Immunotherapy
    COVID-19 and Patients Receiving Anticancer Immunotherapy
    By Ryan M. Weight, DO, MS

    SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting respiratory tract infection COVID-19 has upended our society and forcefully changed the way we care for patients. Since the emergence of the virus in early 2020, there have been questions surrounding the risk posed to patients with a cancer diagnosis and the safety of anticancer therapies. 

  • Communication: Key to Addressing Toxicity and Recurrence Risks
    By Mark B. Faries, MD

    Immuno-oncology (IO) has radically altered the patient care paradigm. One of most important changes attributed to IO is improvement in outcomes and lengthening of survival. This good news comes with multiple challenges, not least of which is the need for new and better communication and coordination among multiple specialties over time. 

  • The Oncology Pharmacist's Role in IO Delivery
    By Sarah Hudson-DiSalle, PharmD, RPh

    Are you leveraging the assets of your oncology pharmacists in delivery of immunotherapy for cancer? Oncology pharmacists multidisciplinary team members who help bridge the gap between science and real-world medical practice. Sarah Hudson-DiSalle, PharmD, RPh, describes how your IO program can make the best use of the oncology pharmacist's diverse skillset.  

  • The Intestinal Microbiome and Cancer Immunotherapy
    By Ryan M. Weight, DO, MS

    The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by a diverse population of bacteria that play a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis both within the gut and within the body. How much do we know about the gut microbiome as it relates to cancer treatment?  

  • IO Reimbursement: Be Proactive and Prepared
    By Sarah Hudson-DiSalle, PharmD, RPh

    As with other high-cost treatments, integration of immunotherapies into practice requires a thorough understanding of payer policies and requirements for reimbursement. Sarah Hudson-DiSalle, PharmD, RPh, shares key steps for successful reimbursement for cancer immunotherapies.

  • Selecting Patients for Combination Immunotherapies
    By Ryan M. Weight, DO, MS

    A forthright conversation between the treating clinician, patient and family members on the importance of self-reporting adverse events must take place prior to consideration of combination immunotherapy.  

  • IO Trials Are Accruing: Where Are the Patients?
    By Joanne Riemer, RN, BSN

    Research nurse Joannne Riemer, RN, BSN,  started her position at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in 2010. Within six months, she was working with checkpoint inhibitors. From her vantage point in clinical trials research, she discusses the many changes in IO clinical trials patient selection over the last eight years.