Phil is a 63-year-old man who is admitted to the inpatient oncology unit for severe pain resulting from metastatic small cell lung cancer. His wife and two daughters are at his bedside. Earlier in the day, the medical oncologist discussed additional treatment options or hospice care. Phil decided on comfort care with the hope of getting his pain managed and going home on hospice.
New targeted and immunotherapy drug approvals have offered improved survival and disease outcomes for patients with melanoma, but the new therapies are also associated with a range of adverse events (AEs) that differ from those associated with chemotherapy. Oncology nurses will need to shift their thinking to best manage those AEs.
Clinical trials are responsible for discovering new treatments for cancer as well as the continued evolution of standards of care in clinical practice. Nationally, less than 5% of all eligible adult patients with cancer enroll in clinical trials. Additionally, it takes a drug an average of six to eight years from when it is first introduced in trials to become fully available to all patients who could benefit from it.
As healthcare institutions become ever more complex and our focus on patient experience expands, nurses are leading and participating in research studies, evidence-based practice (EBP) projects, and quality improvement (QI) initiatives with a goal of improving patient outcomes. Research, EBP, and QI have subtle differences and frequent overlap, which can make it a challenge for nurses to identify the best option to investigating a clinical problem.
Implanted ports are an important lifeline for patients receiving antineoplastic treatments; however, despite vast nursing research on the maintenance and utilization of venous implanted ports, still so much remains to be learned. Many of the practices surrounding implanted ports remain controversial.