Sherry Adkins Talks Primary Care Provider Communication Following CAR T-cell Therapy


Sherry Adkins, MSN, ANP-C, discusses some key considerations in ensuring quality patient care after they have completed CAR T-cell therapy at a specialized center.

Most patients travel to receive CAR T-cell therapy at a specialized center and clear communication with the primary care provider following treatment is key in ensuring appropriate follow-up care, says Sherry Adkins, MSN, ANP-C.

Adkins is a nurse practitioner in the Department of Myeloma and Lymphoma at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who has been involved with several CAR T-cell therapy trials. She also serves as the supervisor for advanced practice providers administering CAR T-cell therapies at the institution.

In an interview with Oncology Nursing News®, Adkins discussed the significance of the recent FDA approval of lisocabtagene autoleucel (Breyanzi) in the second-line setting for patients with large B-cell lymphoma.

In the discussion, she highlights the value of communicating common effects to the primary care provider such as low blood counts following this therapy, and to give clear instructions on when the patient would require a transfusion for anemia or thrombocytopenia.

It is also important that the primary care provider be cognizant of the prophylactic antimicrobials that a patient should be taking following treatment, she added. At MD Anderson, Adkins notes that patients are treated with antiviral and anti-pneumocystis pneumonia prophylactically for 1 year to protect them against shingles, which was reported among patients who ended their prophylaxis early.

“It is important for the patient to know [this information as well],” Adkins adds, advising that patients keep a copy of their CAR T-cell therapy information on hand should a medical emergency arise. “If they ever need to go to the emergency department, they can present that to the emergency department to help [the care team] understand some things about [their] CAR T-cell therapy.”

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