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EONS Poster diplay

4758 - EONS Poster - Cancer nurse perspective on the emerging field of biosimilars in cancer care


22 Oct 2018


EONS Poster diplay



Tumour Site


Johan De Munter


Annals of Oncology (2018) 29 (suppl_8): viii695-viii697. 10.1093/annonc/mdy277


J. De Munter1, P. Crombez2

Author affiliations

  • 1 Cancer Centre, Gent University Hospital, 9000 - Gent/BE
  • 2 Hematology, Jules Bordet, 1000 - Brussel/BE


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Abstract 4758


Biological medicines has transformed cancer care drastically. As Biologics are incorporated into cancer treatment, cancer nurses play a key role in education, administration, pharmacovigilance and managing side effects of biological medicines. Expiring patents of innovator biologics creating opportunities to develop biosimilars and the number in oncology will continue to increase. The use of biosimilars will bring new challenges for cancer nurses related to education, treatment and follow-up of cancer patients.


A search of PubMed, Sciencedirect and regulatory agency websites was conducted for references related to the use of biosimilars and cancer nursing.


To ensure optimal and safe use of biosimilars, all stakeholders incl. physicians, cancer nurses, pharmacists and patients need to understand the complexities of biosimilars and take decisions that will improve patients treatment, safety and Quality of life outcomes. As biosimilars are introduced into clinical practice, education of cancer nurses is paramount to ensure the best outcomes for patients safety. Training of nurses on new products, incl. biosimilars is often ad hoc and incomplete. As a result, cancer nurses may be unaware of the complexities and consequences of using biologics, incl. biosimilars. The knowledge gap in biosimilar medicines and switching or substitution of these medications could result in incorrect patient information, non-optimal use and adverse events which can lead to a delay in access and a decreased therapeutic gain for the patient.


Cancer nurses have an important role in the multidisciplinary approach and treatment of patients on biologics, incl. biosimilars. They have a lead role in education and counselling during introducing and follow-up of the transition between innovator and biosimilar medicines and vice versa, to improve patient outcomes and drug safety. Additional studies on biosimilars are needed to identify current knowledge gaps and educational needs of cancer nurses across Europe. Education about biosimilars is critical for successful incorporation in to oncology practice. A deeper understanding is needed across all cancer related professions with a strong emphasis on collaboration with all stakeholders including patients.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Johan De Munter.


Has not received any funding.

Editorial Acknowledgement


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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