What are the responsibilities of the Prescriber when prescribing cancer therapy and associated medications?

From Cancer Guidelines Wiki


The prescriber is responsible for making treatment decisions, and for the safe and appropriate prescribing of cancer therapy and associated medications.

Back to top

Evidence Summary

The roles and responsibilities of each multidisciplinary team member should be defined and expectations should be clarified about how each discipline will communicate and work collaboratively with respect to providing cancer therapy.[1]

Back to top


Consensus-based recommendationQuestion mark transparent.png

The prescriber is responsible for: (Neuss et al, 2017; Belderson and Billett, 2017; Goldspiel et al, 2015; Carrington et al, 2010)

  • Making treatment decisions and ensuring that each treatment is appropriate for the patient according to diagnosis, laboratory parameters, performance status, organ function and any other relevant characteristics of the patient or their malignancy (e.g. genotype, tumour markers).
  • Ensuring that patients and/or their caregivers are adequately informed about their diagnosis and treatment and give consent for therapy. Where age-appropriate, assent of paediatric patients should also be obtained.
  • Monitoring the effects of treatment and ensuring that appropriate medical review of patients and laboratory results is performed during and after treatment.
  • Ensuring that all professional and legal responsibilities are met with respect to prescribing. This includes participating in the prescribing process as a team member with those involved in the dispensing and administration of the therapy.

(Neuss et al, 2017)[2] ;(Belderson and Billett, 2017)[3] ;(Goldspiel et al, 2015)[1] ;(Carrington et al, 2010)[4]

Back to top


  1. 1.0 1.1 Goldspiel B, Hoffman JM, Griffith NL, Goodin S, DeChristoforo R, Montello CM, et al. ASHP guidelines on preventing medication errors with chemotherapy and biotherapy. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2015 Apr 15;72(8):e6-e35 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25825193.
  2. Neuss MN, Gilmore TR, Belderson KM, Billett AL, Conti-Kalchik T, Harvet BE, et al. 2016 Updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards, Including Standards for Pediatric Oncology. Oncol Nurs Forum 2017 Jan 6;44(1):31-43 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28067033.
  3. Belderson KM, Billett AL. Chemotherapy safety standards: A pediatric perspective. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017 Jun;64(6) Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28306217.
  4. Carrington C, Stone L, Koczwara B, Searle C, Siderov J, Stevenson B, et al. The Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) guidelines for the safe prescribing, dispensing and administration of cancer chemotherapy. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol 2010 Sep;6(3):220-37 Abstract available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20887505.

Back to top