Nursing: Pediatric Pharmacology: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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About the Course

As primary health care professionals, it is imperative that advanced practice nurses (APNs) clearly understand the pathophysiology of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), its treatment options, and steps taken to reduce the burden of illness.  APNs are challenged to understand the significance of ALL, its recognition, and its management. A thorough understanding of this pathology will greatly contribute to their ability to recognize this disease and treat the patient or refer to an appropriate specialist for care as appropriate.  This course outlines normally functioning blood and lymphatic systems and how divergences from this process can lead to ALL, the most common type of childhood cancer.  The course highlights the great progress made in understanding this disease and how to eradicate it and will provide an overview of the collateral damage that occurs with this disease from its pathology and its treatment.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Discuss properly functioning blood and lymphatic systems.
  • Characterize typical signs and symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
  • Describe the incidence of ALL.
  • Identify two documented risk factors for ALL.
  • Name the organ system that is always disrupted in ALL.
  • Distinguish between the three distinct phases of ALL therapy.
  • State the main objective of induction therapy.
  • Provide a potential advantage to using liposomal vincristine for the treatment of ALL.
  • Discuss the role of asparaginase in the treatment of ALL.
  • Describe the sequence of high-dose methotrexate and leucovorin therapy.
  • Acknowledge two nonphysical complications of ALL.

About the Author:
Bradley Gillespie, PharmD

Bradley Gillespie, PharmD, is trained as a clinical pharmacist and has practiced in an industrial setting for the past 25+ years.  His initial role was as a clinical pharmacology and biopharmaceutics reviewer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), followed by 20 years of leading early development programs in the pharma/biotech/nutritional industries. In addition to his industrial focus, he remains a registered pharmacist and enjoys mentoring drug development scientists and health professionals, leading workshops, and developing continuing education programs for pharmacy, nursing, and other medical professionals.

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