Oral Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Public perception of value with immunotherapy (#19)

Richard Vines 1
  1. Rare Cancers Australia, Bowral, NSW, Australia

Immunotherapy has burst into the public consciousness over the past few years in what could best be described as an almost tabloid way. Previously terminal patients are presented in full remission and the “cure” word is frequently deployed. The typical explanation of “using the body’s own immune system to fight cancer” is wonderfully simple and sadly simplistic.

Patients as opposed to the broader public develop a more nuanced view of the impact of immunotherapy in those cancers where there has been insufficient evidence to gain registration or reimbursement are often faced with high cost decisions as a last resort.

This talk briefly examines the current perception and considers if and how it might be improved. It further examines who within the cancer community should participate in changing and communicating current perceptions.