By: Christina Bennett, MS
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently released 2 sets of NCCN Guidelines for Patients® that explain the side effects of different types of immunotherapies. Created for patients with cancer and their caregivers, the guidelines are written in easy-to-understand language and include infographics, definitions of terms, and resources.1,2
Released on June 29, 2020, the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Immunotherapy Side Effects—Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors focuses on the side effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors.1
“These NCCN Guidelines for Patients are designed to educate patients and to help them recognize immune side effects so that effective interventions can be started promptly,” said Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s John A. Thompson, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Washington, Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in a statement about these guidelines. He is also chair of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) Panel for Management of Immunotherapy-Related Toxicities.
Released on July 1, 2020, NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Immunotherapy Side Effects—CAR T-Cell Therapy focuses on the side effects of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell (CAR-T) therapies.2
“These guidelines explain, organize, and streamline a complex and rapidly evolving concept,” said Olalekan Oluwole, MD, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, a member of the NCCN Guidelines® Panel for Management of Immunotherapy-Related Toxicities in a statement about these guidelines.
Specifically, the guidelines explain what CAR-T therapy is, what happens before and during infusion, and what happens afterward, such as the long-term effects a patient may experience. The guidelines also provide information on cytokine release syndrome and neurologic toxicities and how these side effects are managed.3
Either set of guidelines can be freely accessed at NCCN.org/patients or through the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer App. Also, printed copies can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Disclaimer: The development of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients was sponsored by AstraZeneca; EMD Serono, Inc.; Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Pfizer Inc, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Sanofi Genzyme. None of the corporate sponsors participated in the development of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients.
- How to recognize side-effects from immunotherapy? New NCCN Guidelines for patients can help [news release]. Plymouth Meeting, PA: National Comprehensive Cancer Network; June 29, 2020. Accessed July 12, 2020.
- NCCN: What people with cancer and their caregivers need to know about CAR T-cell therapy [news release]. Plymouth Meeting, PA: National Comprehensive Cancer Network; July 1, 2020. Accessed July 12, 2020.
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Immunotherapy Side Effects—CAR T-Cell Therapy (2020). Accessed July 12, 2020.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.