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ASH 2023: Trial of an Education Video to Help CAR-T Cell Therapy Recipients
Posted: Dec 27, 2023
ASH 2023: Trial of an Education Video to Help CAR-T Cell Therapy Recipients image

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy

CAR-T cell therapy is an immunotherapy that redefines cancer treatment. It is often used in blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. This treatment uses the power of the patient's own immune system. This is a personalized approach collecting T cells from the patient, genetically modifying those cells in a lab, then returning them back to the body. CAR-T cell therapy creates a strong immune response, leading to the destruction of cancer cells. This has proven to be effective therapy, especially in patients who have tried other therapies. However, this treatment is complex and requires patient understanding before beginning.

History of CAR-T Patient Education

Currently, the standard approach to educating patients about CAR-T cell therapy involves a consult visit where a typical description of the treatment is provided. However, research has shown that this traditional method might not be best for delivering healthcare information effectively. Noticing this, Dr. Johnson and his team sought to develop an educational video to improve patient understanding and engagement.

Patrick Connor Johnson, a specialist in lymphoma treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been involved in a study aimed at changing the way patients are educated about CAR-T cell therapy. The resulting 12-minute video covers a range of topics related to CAR-T cell therapy, including how it works, logistical details with examples and images, possible side effects and their management, expectations regarding response assessment (how the cancer responds to treatment), and coping strategies for dealing with the uncertainty during the waiting period for response evaluation (determining if the cancer has grown, shrunk, or remained the same).

The findings were presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting 2023. Dr. Johnson spoke to HealthTree about the potential impact of the specially designed educational video for patient care.

Study Details

To test the impact of the video, a randomized (patients are chosen at random) controlled trial was conducted. Half of the participants received the video in addition to usual care, while the other half received only the standard approach. The goals were to determine the feasibility (can it be done) and acceptability of the video among patients.

The main goal of feasibility was met, as 80/101 of eligible patients were enrolled. This proved there was enough interest from patients. Over 90% of patients assigned to the video group found it acceptable, indicating a positive reception among the participants. An overwhelming 94% of that same group expressed a willingness to recommend the video to others who might undergo CAR-T cell therapy in the future.

The study also examined how the video impacted patient-reported outcomes. Early signs suggested improvements in the individual's belief in their ability to make decisions, while also being satisfied with those decisions, compared to those who received standard care alone (oral explanation from care team in clinic).

Future of CAR-T Patient Education

Dr. Johnson mentions that it's still early in the research process; however, he finds the results encouraging. The feasibility and acceptability of the video, combined with promising signs of improved patient-reported outcomes, provide a good start for further exploration.

Looking ahead, Johnson and his team hope to conduct a larger study to understand the impact the video has on patient care. The ultimate goal is to transform the delivery of CAR-T cell therapy by including educational videos in the standard approach. This strategy ensures that patients and their families are not only well-informed but also empowered to actively participate in treatment decisions. By using the power of multimedia, healthcare professionals can improve patient understanding, satisfaction, and overall well-being.

The author Kat Richardson

about the author
Kat Richardson

Kat is from Lehi, Utah and is the Health Education Manager for lymphoma. She has worked in healthcare for a decade now, and earned her degree in Community Health Education and Promotion. Kat is passionate about disease prevention as well as improving quality of life and health equity. She enjoys reading, hiking, baking, ice skating, gardening, time with her family and friends, and most of all, spoiling her nieces and nephew. 

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