Immune-related Adverse Events with Cancer Immunotherapy: Case-based Challenges for the Oncology Nurse

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The introduction of immunotherapy into the oncology space has led to great strides in cancer treatment, resulting in the decreased use of chemotherapy in various malignancies. When compared to chemotherapy, immunotherapy approaches lead to more durable responses and fewer adverse events. Immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are toxicities that are unique to immunotherapy, and often present at varying times during treatment.  Early identification of irAEs and initiation of systemic immunosuppression can improve outcomes without compromising the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibition. As front-line caregivers, oncology nurses are optimally positioned to quickly identify such adverse events and employ appropriate management strategies. The objective of this educational initiative is to provide oncology nurses and nurse practitioners with evidence-based information on the latest developments in the use of cancer immunotherapy and effective management of irAEs through case-based strategies.

This activity is presented by Creative Educational Concepts and supported by an independent educational grant from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Target Audience

This activity was developed for oncology nurses and nurse practitioners.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Assess the clinical efficacy, unique response patterns, and safety profiles associated with checkpoint inhibitors in various types of cancers.
  • Evaluate the signs and symptoms of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) associated with checkpoint inhibitors and understand how to differentiate these from other etiologies.
  • Review recent ASCO/NCCN guidelines for the management of irAEs and apply these recommendations to optimize patient care.
  • Using a case-based approach, discuss strategies oncology nurses can employ to overcome real-world challenges to the early recognition and appropriate management of irAEs.
Course summary
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Planner and Faculty Disclosures

In accordance with the Food and Drug Administration, the speakers have disclosed that there is the potential for discussions concerning off-label uses of a commercial product/device during this educational activity.

Any person who may contribute to the content of this continuing education activity must disclose relevant relationships (and any known relationships of their spouse/partner) with commercial interests whose products or services are discussed in educational presentations. A commercial interest is defined as an entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on patients. Relevant relationships include receiving from a commercial interest research grants, consultant fees, travel, other benefits, or having a self-managed equity interest in a company.

Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone any bias in any presentation but is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.


Susan Gitzinger, PharmD, MPA-has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity.

Vanessa Carranza, PharmD-has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity.


Victoria Sherry, DNP, CRNP, ANP-BC, AOCNP-has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity

Peer Reviewer:

RuthAnn Gordon, MSN, FNP-BC, RN, OCN-has no relevant financial relationships to disclose in relation to the content of this activity.

In support of improving patient care, Creative Educational Concepts is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Nursing (ANCC)

This activity is designated for 1.0 contact hour.

Learners are advised that accredited status does not imply endorsement by the provider or ANCC of any commercial products displayed in conjunction with an activity.

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