Helping Cancer Patients and Caregivers Navigate Immunotherapy Treatment

Immunotherapy is one of the fastest growing areas of cancer research. The Cancer Moonshot 2020 Program calls for the creation of a Cancer Immunotherapy Translational Science Network to develop and implement immune-based approaches for preventing and treating adult and pediatric cancers. There are more than 500 open immunotherapy trials listed on ClincalTrials.gov and the list of immunotherapy drugs, as well as the cancers they are approved to treat, keeps growing. Educational programs for cancer patients and caregivers are needed to help them understand how, when, or if immunotherapy should be integrated into their treatment—and how it can be paid for.

I worked with the Cancer Support Community to plan and implement a 2-day Immunotherapy Patient & Caregiver Summit. The meeting, held in November 2016, provided a unique opportunity for immunotherapy patients to share their experiences. It also allowed the Cancer Support Community to identify specific needs and concerns of patients who are on these treatments. This is the article we wrote for the American Journal of Managed Care Evidence-Based Oncology about what we learned.

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