Lavinia Magee

Lung cancer and COVID-19: by working together we can help patients

Lavinia Magee wants nurses to encourage people to use healthcare services during the pandemic

Lung Cancer

Helping patients adhere to ceritinib therapy

The previous articles in this supplement have outlined the role of the lung cancer nurse specialist in delivering high quality care for patients with advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer from investigations and diagnosis through to treatment and toxicity management. This third, and final, article suggests ways of maximising adherence to ceritinib so that patients can achieve the best possible treatment outcome

Introduction

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer mortality in the UK, accounting for more than one in five cancer deaths (Cancer Research UK 2016). Within that number, 85-90% of cases are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (Reck et al 2014) and, in around 5% of those cases, patients are found to carry a translocation in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene (Shaw et al 2014). Patients who test positive for this translocation (ALK+) can be treated with ALK inhibitors. While the first-generation ALK inhibitor crizotinib may be effective initially, many patients with advanced ALK+ NSCLC develop resistance and experience disease progression during treatment (Shaw et al 2014).

Lung Cancer

An overview of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer

This article provides an overview of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer and the types of molecular tests carried out to diagnose the disease. Lung cancer nurse specialists’ role in the treatment pathway is also discussed, as well as the guidance they can provide to help patients understand their diagnosis and its implications.

Giving patient information

Managing toxicities in patients on ceritinib therapy

The management of patients on therapies is an important part of the lung cancer nurse specialist role. This article focuses on the use of ceritinib in patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer who have previously been treated with crizotinib, the common toxicities that may arise and how to manage them in order to improve patient experience and adherence to treatment.