Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology: An Overview of Therapy Types and Nursing Implications

Colleen B. Warren

neoplasm, pediatric nursing, molecular targeted therapy, immunotherapy
CJON 2018, 22(6), 649-655. DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.649-655

Background: By using the body’s own protective system to fight cancer, immunotherapy is not only effective but also is associated with fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

Objectives: This article provides an overview of four types of immunotherapy (monoclonal antibodies, chimeric antigen receptors, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and cancer vaccines) and discusses the critical role assumed by nurses in the care of patients receiving immunotherapy.

Methods: A review of the literature was undertaken to identify, describe, and compare the types of immunotherapy used and studied for use in pediatric oncology.

Findings: Nurses caring for pediatric patients with cancer may have little experience with immunotherapy. However, they should become knowledgeable about it, particularly as it becomes further integrated into pediatric cancer treatments.

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