Intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy delivers anticancer drugs directly into cerebrospinal fluid contained in the intrathecal (also known as the subarachnoid) space of the spinal column via a lumbar puncture needle.
Intrathecal chemotherapy has a very limited scope of practice (see Intrathecal Chemotherapy Scope) due to the complex nature of this process.
All staff involved in this process are entered on the Intrathecal Register which is held in the pharmacy department and is the responsibility of the Haematology Pharmacist. You may also access the register through the pharmacy website on the CDHB Intranet.
The role of the nurse in this process, is to perform a bedside second check of the cytotoxic drug with the administrator and to witness its administration. Generally, nurses who have been IV chemotherapy certified for 6 months can undertake this role.
Certification requirements can be found on health Learn under Intrathecal Chemotherapy Checking (CDHB) CAMC002
Recertification is undertaken 3 yearly and involves reading the policy and re-signing the Entry to Intrathecal Register form.
All policy, procedure, training and patient information documents pertaining to Intrathecal chemotherapy are held on the pharmacy website.
Intraventricular Cytotoxic Therapy