Stephanie Jackson Unpacks Recent Advances in Leukemia Treatments

Stephanie Jackson, DNP, MSN, RN, AOCNP, BMTCN, discusses the trajectory of targeted and CAR T-cell therapies such as ivosidenib and brexucabtagene autoleucel, and what nurses need to know about these treatments to be able to practice at the top of their licensure.

For this episode of The Vitals, Oncology Nursing News® met with Stephanie Jackson, DNP, MSN, RN, AOCNP, BMTCN, to discuss key takeaways from her recent presentation at the 6th Annual School of Nursing Oncology™ Meeting. Jackson, who is a certified oncology and bone marrow transplant clinical nurse specialist and unit director at UCLA Medical Center, presented on advances in the treatment of leukemia, and highlighted how nurses can practice at the top of their licensure incorporating the latest advances in hematologic malignancies.

Jackson discusses the clinical application of drugs which were recently added into the treatment schema, such as ivosidenib (Tibsovo) plus azacitidine, which was approved in May 2022 for patients with newly diagnosed IDH1-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are aged 75 years or older, or who have comorbidities that preclude use of intensive induction chemotherapy. According to Jackson, differentiation syndrome and QT prolongation are 2 possible adverse events (AEs) associated with this treatment that nurses need to recognize.

She also discusses the evolving role of CAR T-cell therapy in the context of leukemia treatment, including the 2021 approval of brexucabtagene autoleucel (Tecartus) for relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Jackson highlights the benefits and limitations of this therapy, and offers a perspective on the potential benefit that allogeneic CAR T-cells may bring to the table.

Overall, it is inspiring time to work in leukemia, Jackson says.

“I’m excited about seeing many of my patients living much longer and being able to have treatments like CAR T,” she remarks. “It takes a nurse who is knowledgeable of the drugs, knows the AEs, and who are partnering with the interdisciplinary team to make sure that we can get these patients through this treatment.”

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