New Study on Immunotherapy
San Francisco, California- [January 25, 2018] - The Cancer Support Community (CSC) announced today at the 2018 ASCO-SITC (American Society of Clinical Oncology-Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer) Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium the results of its survey analysis assessing the needs of immunotherapy patients, caregivers, and health care providers.
The survey’s release comes on the heels of a Washington Post story earlier this month examining patient reactions to immunotherapy treatments. The CSC survey, which was conducted in early 2017, sought to better understand and identify key areas of concern or gaps in knowledge and patient care related to immunotherapy as identified by patients, caregivers, and health care providers.
“The findings highlight the need for easily accessible and comprehensive information on immunotherapy,” said Linda House, CSC president. “The Cancer Support Community is committed to providing this solution through our innovative Immunotherapy & Me program that supports the unique needs of patients receiving immunotherapy treatment and the clinical staff who care for them.”
The CSC materials will be an important tool for the patients, caregivers, and providers who revealed the following experiences in the study:
- Most patients (52.4 percent), and nearly 40 percent (39.3 percent) of caregivers, reported that understanding how immunotherapy works and managing treatment-related side effects were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘very much’ of a problem during immunotherapy treatment.
- Among health care providers, about 40 percent indicated that understanding how immunotherapy works and managing treatment-related symptoms and side effects are ‘quite a bit’ challenging for their patients; nearly half (48.7 percent) also stated that finding support with issues related to cancer care was also ‘quite a bit’ challenging for their patients.
- 60 percent of caregivers and nearly 45 percent (44 percent) of patients stated that an online tool/website to manage their immunotherapy (IO) treatment would be ‘quite a bit’ or ‘very much’ helpful to them.
- Nearly 30 percent (29.8 percent) of patients and 50 percent (48.2 percent) of caregivers reported that they would be willing to use an online tool to help manage their, or their loved ones, immunotherapy treatment on a ‘weekly’ basis.
- Of note, almost 90 percent (86 percent) of health care providers reported that they were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘very much’ likely to refer patients to immunotherapy and cancer-related print materials. Well over half (59.3 percent) stated that they were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘very much’ likely to refer their patients to an online tool to help manage their immunotherapy treatment.
House shared the findings at 2018 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium. The full poster as presented at the Symposium is available online. The CSC website includes additional information about the Immunotherapy & Me pilot program.