Episode 278: Cancer Symptom Management Basics: Hepatic Complications

“I think that as oncology nurses, we need to keep ourselves really educated and up to date with these new therapies, because I honestly feel like we still haven't really seen the long-term effects of this treatment,” ONS member Lisa Parks, MS, APRN-CNP, ANP-BC, nurse practitioner in hepatobiliary surgery at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, told Lenise Taylor, MN, RN, AOCNS®, BMTCN®, oncology clinical specialist at ONS, during a conversation about recognizing hepatic complications and understanding the basics of its symptom management strategies. This episode is part of a series on cancer symptom management basics; the others are linked below.  

You can earn free NCPD contact hours after listening to this episode and completing the evaluation linked below.  

Music Credit: “Fireflies and Stardust” by Kevin MacLeod 

Licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0 

Earn 0.5 NCPD contact hours of nursing continuing professional development (NCPD), which may be applied to the disease-related biology, treatment, or symptom management, palliative care, supportive care ILNA categories, by listening to the full recording and completing an evaluation at myoutcomes.ons.org by September 22, 2025. The planners and faculty for this episode have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose. ONS is accredited as a provider of NCPD by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.22, 2025. The planners and faculty for this episode have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose. ONS is accredited as a provider of NCPD by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. 

Learning outcome: The learner will report an increase in knowledge in cancer symptom management basics and hepatic complications.  

Episode Notes 

 

To discuss the information in this episode with other oncology nurses, visit the ONS Communities.  

To find resources for creating an ONS Podcast Club in your chapter or nursing community, visit the ONS Podcast Library

To provide feedback or otherwise reach ONS about the podcast, email pubONSVoice@ons.org 

 

Highlights From Today’s Episode 

“There is something called chemotherapy-induced liver injury. What the chemotherapy does is it has a direct hepatotoxic effect on the hepatocytes themselves. If you have preexisting liver disease such as cirrhosis, it can lead to very severe hepatotoxicity because the function of the liver is already compromised by the damage previously done to it.” TS 3:47 

“The American Gastroenterological Association published guidelines on the management of HBV reactivation for patients during immunosuppressive treatment, and they basically do recommend any patients with a hep B virus that they receive antiviral prophylaxis to prevent this reactivation from occurring. Also in 2008, the CDC recommended universal HBV screening for all patients before administering chemotherapy. This one you see most commonly in patients who receive chemotherapy for a hematological cancer following hemopoietic stem cell transplantation.” TS 14:19 

“One of the most common things that I’ve encountered in my practice is that there seems to be a thought that once hepatic complications are identified, there is treatment for this, and in these patients, we can't reverse liver injury. Really, what we offer these patients is supportive care. These patients often can decompensate really quickly, and often these patients may require being transferred to the intensive care unit and it’s not because there’s any intervention that we’re going to do. But I think it’s very frustrating for nurses to see these severe liver injuries, that are life threatening, and not to be able to do anything about it.” TS 19:06 

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