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Treating Malignancies with More Than Just Chemotherapy

LAURA J. ZITELLA, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, AOCN | August 16, 2019

At the 3rd annual School of Nursing Oncology, Oncology Nursing News had the chance to sit down and discuss with Laura J. Zitella, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, AOCN, associate clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco, about how cancer care for patients with hematologic malignancies has moved beyond just traditional chemotherapy.


While chemotherapy is still important in the treatment of malignancies, many of the novel therapies that we've seen over the last 5 years have all been targeted agents that either exploit signal transduction pathways, target actionable mutations or target different receptors and cells in the immune system. All of that changed, I believe, because we were able to better characterize the etiology of malignancies and what factors make cancer cells different from healthy cells. Being able to target those factors unique to cancer cells helps us deliver effective therapies because they don't cause as many side effects because they don't damage healthy cells.   

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