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Best Practices for Implementing Cancer Immunotherapy in the Community

Immunotherapies have yielded impressive clinical benefits in a growing number of cancers, in many cases surpassing the efficacy of existing therapies. Use of immunotherapies for cancer is expected to increase with ongoing approvals of new drugs and expanded indications for previously approved agents. As the field of immunotherapy continues to evolve at a rapid pace, integrating this new class of agents into mainstream practice brings both operational and clinical challenges. For example, results from the ACCC 2017 Trending Now in Cancer Programs survey showed that 96 percent of providers are prescribing immunotherapeutic agents, yet only 33 percent report that they are "very comfortable" with management of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) and 32 percent report are "very uncomfortable" with managing irAEs. The need for information and guidance on evolving best practices for safe and effective delivery of immunotherapy in the community is clear.

To help meet this need, ACCC and AXIS Medical Education are jointly providing an educational activity on Best Practices for Implementing Cancer Immunotherapy in the Community.


Project Overview

Best Practices for Implementing Cancer Immunotherapy in the Community provides guidance and information on practical issues surrounding the delivery of immunotherapy to all members of the multidisciplinary care team involving in caring for cancer patients treated with these new agents. Through an application process two ACCC member programs have been selected to participate in this learning opportunity:

Schwab Family Cancer Center
Cumberland, MD

Clearview Cancer Institute
Huntsville, AL

Members of the project's expert Advisory Committee have worked with these ACCC member programs to identify gaps in practice that may affect delivery of optimal care for patients treated with immunotherapy for cancer. Once gaps were identified, each participating site hosted a half-day on-site workshop for their multidisciplinary team members who are involved in delivery of immunotherapies for cancer and the care of patients who treated with these therapies in the community. During the workshops, which were held in mid- 2018, participants:

  • Conducted an assessment of practice patterns related to integration of immunotherapies.
  • Identified strategies for overcoming barriers to optimal patient care for patients receiving immunotherapies.
  • Investigated coordination and communication within the multidisciplinary care team.
  • Discussed strategies for patient engagement and shared decision-making.
  • Developed a Plan-Do-Study (PDSA) action plan for improving care delivery.

Participating sites will report on post-workshop action plan progress at three months and six months. Lessons learned will be shared with ACCC membership and the broader oncology community.
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This activity is supported by an educational grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.