college of nursing
THE IMPACT OF IMMUNOTHERAPY ON PALLIATIVE CARE NEEDS FOR PATIENTS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS
Djin Tay, Assistant Professor
In recent years, immunotherapies and other targeted therapies have transformed the clinical management of a growing range of cancers, including breast, colon, and lung cancers, and melanoma. In the hopes of a “silver bullet” cure for patients’ cancers, patients and family caregivers may avoid or delay thinking about palliative and hospice care approaches, experience emotional distress if treatment fails, and be underprepared for coping with death. The goal of this study is to better understand the end of life, decision making, and bereavement impact associated with immunotherapy receipt among four common cancer diagnoses--colon, lung, melanoma, and breast cancer. We propose to pilot survey measures to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses, assess for changes in socioeconomic status, and identify unmet supportive care needs among N=300 registered cancer caregivers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. This data would allow us to examine the caregiving and bereavement implications involved in immunotherapy care, to promote timely and appropriate end-of-life care in the changing landscape of cancer treatment.