Approaches to patient education in managing adverse events of ipilimumab
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Approaches to patient education in managing adverse events of ipilimumab

Clair Fitzgerald Specialist home care nurse chemotherapy, Health Care at Home, Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire, England

Malignant melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. Patients with advanced disease have historically poor survival rates and limited treatment choices with substantial toxicities and minimal effectiveness. This article defines and explores the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. It critically appraises the development of newer treatments, such as the immunotherapy ipilimumab and how their mechanism of action differs from that of well established anti-cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

While offering a life-extending treatment for people with previously treated advanced melanoma, ipilimumab can cause adverse events, most commonly related to the gastrointestinal system. Adverse events require prompt recognition and appropriate treatment to avoid disruption to treatment schedules and negative effects on quality of life.

Patient education about treatment and its effects is an important aspect of the cancer nursing role. Approaches to patient education in managing adverse events associated with ipilimumab and the role of the nurse are also examined. Patient education may include oral, written and audiovisual, of which not all are equally received by patients (Mills and Sullivan 1999). Assessment and regular checks of understanding are essential.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 16, 3, 20-24. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2017.e1391


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 22 December 2016

Accepted: 22 February 2017