Symptom Management Toolkit for Cancer Patients




Cancer patients have numerous symptoms, both from the cancer itself and from the side effects of its treatments. Since many cancer treatments are delivered as outpatient procedures or via oral medicines, cancer patients often are dealing with symptoms from treatment and/or disease progression at home. They have significant needs for information regarding diagnosis and treatment, help with symptom management, assistance with communication and coordination of care, and support for surveillance and prevention of further problems.

Uncontrolled symptoms can delay cancer treatment, result in additional doctor or ER visits, and contribute to days lost from work. Active monitoring can allow patients to identify and address symptoms earlier and at a time when intervention can resolve or control symptoms, thereby avoiding treatment delays.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University’s Symptom Management Toolkit for Cancer Patients is a comprehensive, 133-page book that provides cancer patients with evidence-based management skills along with coping strategies for 25 common symptoms. It places practical symptom management initiatives under one cover and provides expert references for more information. Written in an FAQ format, the book is intended primarily for cancer patients; however, it is also valuable for oncology and phone triage nurses.


Key Benefits

  • Improved patient outcomes: Clinical trials have shown positive results in terms of the overall well being of cancer patients. Patients in the studies reported statistically significant improvement in symptom severity and number of overall symptoms.
  • Reduces health system costs: The book provides education for patients, which helps reduce doctor and ER visits.
  • Evidence-based: Information is practical, yet based on proven data.
  • Companion products: In addition to a book for patients, a book for caregivers has been developed as well as an automated voice response system (AVR).




Books like the Symptom Management Toolkit are commonly provided by oncology practices, and a nurse typically will review the materials with the patient at the doctor’s office. Potential markets for the book include:

  • Medical oncology offices
  • Clinical trial companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Insurance companies and HMOs
  • Publishing companies: options for e-book, PDF, or print on demand


Patent Status


No patents




Barbara Given, Charles Given, Cindy Majeske


Tech ID




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Brian Copple
Technology Manager
Michigan State University