Administration of immune checkpoint inhibitors at rural towns using the Teleoncology model of care — A North Queensland perspective

Kang, Sebastian, Fletcher, James, Htut, Saw, Brown, Amy, Lyle, Megan, Sabesan, Sabe, and Joshi, Abhishek (2023) Administration of immune checkpoint inhibitors at rural towns using the Teleoncology model of care — A North Queensland perspective. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 31 (3). pp. 540-545.

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Objective: This study aimed at evaluating the safety of administering immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and monitoring for immune-related adverse events (irAEs) using the Teleoncology model of care.

Design: A retrospective cohort study comparing two patient groups.

Setting: The North Queensland Teleoncology Network (NQTN) operated by the Townsville (THHS) and Cairns Hospital Health Services (CHHS) with the Townsville Cancer Centre (TCC) acting as the control group setting.

Participants: Patients who received ICI treatment via the NQTN between January 2015 and April 2019. Patients who received ICI at the TCC over the same time period were used for comparison.

Main Outcome Measures: Rates of high-grade irAEs and irAE-related deaths.

Results: Fifty-two patients received a total of 822 cycles of ICIs via the Teleoncology model through NQTN. Over the same time period, 142 patients received a total of 1521 cycles at the TCC. There were no significant differences in all demographic characteristics between either group, including tumour profile and Indigenous status. There were no statistically significant differences between the rates of high-grade irAE across multiple body organ systems (p = 0.151) and rate of hospital admissions (13.5% (NQTN) vs 5.6% (TCC), p = 0.702). There were no irAE-related deaths in either group.

Conclusions: The results suggest that with adequate governance and clinical resources, ICIs can be administered safely using Teleoncology models to rural and remote towns.

Item ID: 78462
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: immunotherapy, irAE, QReCS, safety, telehealth
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Australian Journal of Rural Health published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of National Rural Health Alliance Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2023 03:37
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200208 Telehealth @ 100%
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