Dr. Diane Cope Publishes Article Examining Role of Advanced Practitioner In Maintaining Patient Adherence on Oral Oncolytics

  • February 14, 2018

Fort Myers, FL – February 12, 2018…… Florida Cancer Specialists (FCS) Director of Nursing Diane Cope, PhD, ARNP, BC, AOCNP, was second author of a review and interventional article that examined the role of the Advanced Practitioner (AP) in maintaining compliance in patients taking oral oncolytics.  Published recently in the Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology (JADPRO), the review highlighted many of the barriers to adherence that patients face and analyzed the role of APs in mitigating some of these issues.

As oral medications for cancer treatment become more prevalent, there can be benefits for both the patient and for practitioners, including reducing the time patients must spend in the clinic receiving IV medications.  Citing earlier research (Thompson & Christian, 2016), the report stated, “This is a benefit to both APs and patients, as oral therapy is less invasive and reduces nursing time in infusion suites.”

While oral oncolytics offer certain advantages, the article points out that many factors should be considered by the Advanced Practitioner in order to encourage adherence to the medications’ regimens, including the potential for drug interactions if the patient is on multiple medications, complex dosing schedules, whether to take the medication with food or not, financial challenges, side effects and impact on the patient’s cardiac history, among others.

The article further states, “Over the course of treatment, many cancer patients will transition back and forth between acute and chronic symptoms and treatment plans. It is important to set appropriate treatment expectations, recognizing that patients will need individualized support based on where they are along their cancer journey.”

In an accompanying Case Study, Dr. Cope praised Rx To Go, the in-house specialty pharmacy for oral oncolytics at Florida Cancer Specialists, for its role in patient education and compliance.  She said, “We’re also fortunate to have a specialty pharmacy with our practice… They’re great as far as getting copay assistance and working on foundation grants.”

Dr. William Harwin, Founder and President of FCS, has worked with Dr. Cope as his Nurse Practitioner for over two decades.  He said, “Diane is a highly-respected leader and an extremely compassionate professional who has helped advance the quality of nursing care throughout our organization and developed a national reputation for excellence.  She has authored several chapters in various text books, as well as numerous articles for professional journals, such as this one in JADPRO. It is a privilege to work with her.”

To read the full article: https://www.advancedpractitioner.com/media/227537/jadpro_7.pdf


Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology, Vol 8, Suppl 6, Dec 2017, 6-21

Thompson, N., & Christian, A. (2016). Oral chemotherapy: Not just an ordinary pill. American Nurse Today, 11(9), 16–20.
About Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute: (FLCancer.com)
Founded in 1984, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) is the largest independent medical oncology/hematology practice in the United States. With over 200 physicians, more than 170 nurse practitioners and physician assistants and nearly 100 locations in our network, we are committed to providing world-class cancer care in community-based settings close to home.

Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, FCS offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. 84% of new cancer drugs approved in 2016 for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials conducted with FCS participation*. Our physicians are consistently ranked nationally as Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report.Trained in such prestigious medical schools and research institutes as Duke, Stanford, Harvard, Emory, M.D. Anderson, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, the physicians of Florida Cancer Specialists provide leadership and consultation in the state’s leading hospitals.

FCS serves patients on the Gulf Coast from Naples to the greater Tampa Bay area, north as far as Tallahassee, in Orlando and surrounding Central Florida communities, and on the East Coast from Jacksonville/Fleming Island to Palm Beach County.

Florida Cancer Specialists has built a national reputation for excellence that is reflected in exceptional and compassionate patient care, driven by innovative clinical research and cutting-edge technologies that help advance targeted treatments and genetically-based immunotherapies, and embodied by our outstanding team of highly-trained and dedicated physicians, clinicians and staff.

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