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[Abstract #PS26] Identifying Gaps in Immunotherapy Education Beyond the Oncology Team

September 27, 2018


T. Perloff1, B. Guardado1, L. Lucas1, P. Rattananont Ferris1.
1The Association of Community Cancer Centers, Provider Education, Washington, USA.

Clinical guidelines have rapidly included immunotherapy (IO) as standard of care across multiple tumor types. As a result, an increasing number of patients will be at risk for developing toxicities from these treatments which may not be reported until after discontinuation from oncological care.


Our study goal was to assess gaps in IO education and care coordination among multidisciplinary, non-oncology providers.


A Needs Assessment Survey was electronically distributed to 156 non-oncology providers from December 2017 to January 2018. 150 non-oncology providers representing 12 unique disciplines completed the survey. The overall completion rate was 96%. The survey assessed providers’ level of comfort treating IO patients, communication between the primary cancer team, and the use of guidelines and educational tools for managing IO patients.


50% of providers do not feel comfortable generally treating an IO patient or recognizing and managing immune-related adverse events (irAEs). When asked to report comfort level in administering and prescribing appropriate and timely treatment to prevent IO adverse side effects, only 18% of providers reported a high comfort level. 15% of respondents were unaware their place of practice had guidelines for treating IO patients, but over 80% noted they would utilize guidelines.


This study demonstrates the need for IO provider education to extend beyond the oncology team. These findings pave the way for future research to tailor educational interventions for non-oncology providers. Addressing these problems in health care delivery could positively impact the survivorship of patients treated/being treated with IO.
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