Explaining Adverse Events of Immune Therapy to Patients with Breast Cancer
MADELAINE KUIPER RN, MSN | August 07, 2019
At the 3rd annual School of Nursing Oncology (SONO) meeting, Madelaine Kuiper RN, MSN, from the UCLA Santa Monica Hematology/Oncology Breast Program, discussed why immune therapy isn't for every patient with breast cancer, and how to explain this to patients.
I have patients who come to me and say, "Oh why can't I use immune therapy?" [For some], it has a very restricted or limited effect or benefit, but particularly in triple-negative [breast cancer] we are seeing some benefit, but it has its own side effects. It can cause immune-mediated auto-immune diseases such as pneumonitis, it can cause some problems with hepatitis, all of these sorts of things. It takes a long time to see benefits from it for some patients, plus the uniqueness of being able to get testing done on someone's sample for PD-L1. It's not something we were routinely testing, so [we must learn] how to manage that.
The look of using alpelisib now as a PI3 kinase inhibitor for hormone-receptive positive breast cancers and the benefits that now is providing. Now, it's not upfront upline as the CDK 4/6 [inhibitors], but maybe it's considered second- or third-line now and it opens up another opportunity for patients to receive care and improving, again, their progression-free survival.