Biotherapy / Immunotherapy 101: An Overview for Oncology Nurses

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Course Description

In the last year, almost 40 hematology/oncology medications have been approved for use or changed/expanded their indications by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The majority of these FDA approvals have been with medications that are not our traditional chemotherapy drugs.  These non-chemotherapy drugs are biologically-based and many are manufactured with cellular or genetic targets (e.g. Epidermal growth factor receptor [EGFr], Programmed death 1 [PD-1], Programmed death ligand 1 [PD-L1], etc). 

In order to provide the highest quality of care, the oncology nurse providing treatment for a patient receiving these newer biological and targeted therapies must understand how the medications work as well as the unique side effects that might be experienced.  As these newer biological and immunotherapeutic medications seem to be receiving FDA approval for use at a rapid pace, it is often difficult for the oncology nurse to maintain adequate understanding of all of this new drug information. 

This 2.0 hour continuing education dinner course will provide an overview of the various classes of biological and targeted therapies with a focus on mechanism of actions and unique side effects related to these drugs.


At the end of this dinner, the participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the mechanism of action for 2 biological/immunotherapeutic agents used to treat cancers.
  2. Identify 2 biological/immunotherapeutic drugs which were recently approved for treating cancer and how they are used in oncology patients.
  3. Of the 2 biological/immunotherapeutic drugs listed in number 1, describe at least 1 side effect for each drug and how to manage it.

Course Outline

5:30 pm Registration
6:00 pm Dinner and Presentation
8:15 pm Q & A / Evaluations  


Nancee Hirano, MS, RN, ANP, AOCN®
Oncology Nurse Practitioner / Oncology Nurse Consultant