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Immunotherapy: New Challenges for Nursing

  • Claude BertrandEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Principles of Specialty Nursing book series (PSN)

Abstract

Anticancer immunotherapy brings a radical change in oncology for two majorreasons.

The first one is of scientific nature because the therapeutic target is from now on the immune system, while the other anticancer treatments used to target the cancer cell.

Immunotherapy makes the patient the main actor of its fight against cancer by using its own immune system as a weapon [1]. The second one is of clinical order. Indeed, antibodies of immunotherapy are given intravenously and do not require premedication.

The side effects, new in oncology, are unpredictable and will require on behalf of the patient and of the nursing team real challenges for their identification and their management.

Big hopes were born with immunotherapy. The latter gets a profit in terms of global survival and especially in terms of quality of life, ending in a chronicity of the disease.

Immunotherapy evolves in a lightning way with new therapeutic indications, and “it is the first time that it is possible to treat so many different cancers with the same molecule” [2].

So it is necessary to be able to rely on a nursing staff having been trained specifically.

An advanced nurse practitioner or referent or coordinator can be responsible for these various missions.

Having an extensive knowledge on the disease and the treatment, this person will thus be the central interlocutor for the patients and his/her family and friends as well as for the doctors and the nursing staff in the interdisciplinary team [3].

Keywords

Immunotherapy Chronicity Therapeutic education Side effects Interdisciplinarity 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King Albert II Institute for Cancerology and Haematology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-LucBrusselsBelgium

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