Targeting Patient and Family Education for ALK/MEK Inhibitor Therapy: What We Learned from the COG Nursing Evidenced Based Project (C204)

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Thursday, September 15
coglogoChildren with cancer have historically received multiple modalities of therapy to treat their disease processes including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplant. These modalities incur the potential for significant acute toxicity and late effects from therapy. In the last decade, the addition of a new modality known as biotherapy has become an integral player in the treatment of pediatric cancers. Biotherapy includes targeted therapies used to attack and destroy cancer cells while minimizing effects on healthy cells and tissue.
This is exciting news in the world of precision medicine as it relates to the treatment of childhood cancer. As targeted therapy use has increased in the treatment of pediatric cancers, side effects specific to these agents have emerged requiring a new focused effort on providing education to providers, patients, and families regarding how best to monitor and manage for optimal outcomes. ALK and MEK inhibitors work by inhibiting proteins involved in the abnormal growth of cancer cells and are included in several Children’s Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials. Common side effects that were identified during early phase clinical trials incorporating these agents include, but are not limited to, cutaneous and ocular manifestations that differ from the more common side effects experienced with historical treatment modalities. To gather evidence of the common side effects reported with ALK and MEK inhibitors and emerging evidence for monitoring and managing these new side effects a COG nursing evidence-based practice project was completed. This designated evidence based practice team collected, reviewed, synthesized, and summarized evidence. Recommendations for education for patients and families were then determined using the GRADE quality of evidence assessment criteria. During this session learn more about COG trials incorporating ALK and MEK and how the results of the evidence-based practice review can influence the nursing care of patients receiving these therapies.