Missed Opportunities in irAE Management: Tips for Non-Oncology Pharmacists

This activity is part of a series


Kerry L. Reynolds, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School
Director, Severe Immunotherapy Complications (SIC) Service
Clinical Director, Inpatient Cancer Services, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Boston, MA
Kerry L. Reynolds, MD

Dr. Kerry Reynolds is an oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She currently serves as the Director of the Severe Immunotherapy Complications (SIC) Service and the Clinical Director for Inpatient Cancer Services at Mass General Cancer Center. She joined the Harvard Medical School faculty in 2014, after completing her residency and chief residency at Massachusetts General and fellowship training in Oncology at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care.

The SIC Service is the first program of its kind in the country. Every hospitalized patient at Mass General Cancer Center who has received immunotherapy and is suspected to be experiencing an immune-related adverse event (irAE) is seen by one of the Service’s dedicated oncologists, resulting in unparalleled care for this type of toxicity. Under the leadership of Dr. Reynolds, the SIC Service now provides care to a significant number of patients every year and has grown to comprise more than 50 clinicians and researchers across 19 different areas of the hospital, including subspecialists from oncology, cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, and many more relevant disciplines.

In addition to providing clinical care, supervising and educating trainees, and participating in administrative affairs, Dr. Reynolds leverages the work of the SIC Service to conduct research on the severe toxicities associated with immunotherapy. Her ultimate goal is to improve the lives of patients undergoing immunotherapy by uncovering irAE predictors and biomarkers, characterizing the clinical presentations of irAEs, developing best practices for managing irAEs, and elucidating the mechanisms that drive irAEs in order to develop novel therapies. To pursue this goal, she is working with Dr. Alexandra-Chloe Villani to systematically collect blood and tissue samples from patients with irAEs and analyze them using cutting-edge technologies. Dr. Reynolds has also authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters, and she was lead editor of Facing Immunotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Their Families.

Jordan P. McPherson, PharmD, MS, BCOP
Oncology Clinical Pharmacist
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Utah, College of Pharmacy, Salt Lake City, UT
Jordan P. McPherson, PharmD, MS, BCOP

Jordan McPherson, PharmD, MS, BCOP, is an Oncology Clinical Pharmacist in the outpatient solid tumor clinics at Huntsman Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated cancer hospital on the campus of the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. McPherson specializes in the treatment of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers using immunotherapy and other targeted therapies. He serves as a panel member on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines for the Management of Immunotherapy-Related Toxicities, and as Past President of the Utah Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Dr. McPherson is passionate about pharmacist involvement in the recognition and management of immune-related adverse events in both oncology and non-oncology settings. Dr. McPherson’s research efforts are well published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC), Pharmacotherapy, JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics, Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, and Haemophilia.

Statement of Need

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have become a mainstay of treatment within the field of oncology for multiple types of cancer. However, as the utilization of ICIs has expanded over recent years, so too has the incidence of immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Health care practitioners in the non-oncology care setting, including pharmacists, are often challenged to recognize irAEs due to the wide variation in onset, severity, and symptomatology, leaving patients at risk for worse outcomes. It is imperative that pharmacists practicing in the non-oncology setting recognize patients at risk for developing an irAE and connect them with appropriate treatment.

In this CME Outfitters BriefCase, expert faculty will guide learners through a case involving a patient who presents with escalating symptoms of an irAE over multiple visits. In this program, particular emphasis will be placed on recognizing the manifestations, frequency, risk factors, and timeline for the development of irAEs in the non-oncology setting.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this CME/CE activity, participants should be able to evaluate patients for potential irAE development in non-oncology settings.

Financial Support

Supported by an educational grant from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.

Target Audience

Pharmacists in outpatient, ambulatory, or community care settings

Credit Information

Jointly Accredited Provider

In support of improving patient care, CME Outfitters, LLC, is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Pharmacists (ACPE) 0.5

This application-based activity is approved for 0.5 contact hours (0.05 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy credit.
Activity UAN: JA0007185-0000-23-023-H01-P

Disclosure Declaration

It is the policy of CME Outfitters, LLC, to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, and scientific rigor and integrity in all of their CE activities. Faculty must disclose to the participants any relationships with commercial companies whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, or with the commercial supporter of this CE activity. CME Outfitters, LLC, has evaluated, identified, and mitigated any potential conflicts of interest through a rigorous content validation procedure, use of evidence-based data/research, and a multidisciplinary peer review process.

Dr. Reynolds reports the following financial relationships: Research Support: Investigator initiated research from Boston Scientific Corporation; Stock Shareholder (ownership interest): Biogen; Other Financial or Material Support: Teledoc Health, Inc.

Dr. McPherson reports the following financial relationships: Research Support: Hitachi, Ltd.

The following peer reviewer and CME Outfitters staff have no financial relationships:

  • Elizabeth Naber, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CNRN, TCRN (peer reviewer)
  • Thomas Mitchell (planning committee)
  • Kasey Brandt, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Susan H. Yarbrough, CHCP (planning committee)
  • Sandra Caballero, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Sharon Tordoff (planning committee)

Faculty of this CE activity may include discussions of products or devices that are not currently labeled for use by the FDA. The faculty have been informed of their responsibility to disclose to the audience if they will be discussing off-label or investigational uses (any uses not approved by the FDA) of products or devices.

Obtaining Credits

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Call us at (877) CME-PROS or (877) 263-7767.




Missed Opportunities in irAE Management: Tips for Non-Oncology Pharmacists
Event Date: 04/03/2023