National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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2012 Pharmacy Program Covered a Number of Topics Integral to Pharmacists

Jake B. Guinto, PhD, Manager, Oncology Drugs & Biologics

On March 14, 2012, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) held the 2012 Pharmacy Program: Best Practices in Oncology Pharmacy Management™, a pre-conference event that took place prior to the NCCN 17th Annual Conference at The Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, FL.

Speakers consisted of faculty recognized as experts in their respective fields. Their presentations covered a number of topics including Supportive Care in Oncology Pharmacy, New and Emerging Drugs and Biologics in Cancer Care, Oral Chemotherapy and Compliance, and Pharmacy Interventions that Improve Quality of Care.

During the first session, Supportive Care in Oncology, Sally Barbour, PharmD, BCOP, CPP, of Duke Cancer Institute, discussed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). During her presentation, Dr. Barbour reviewed the consensus guidelines, discussed antiemetic therapies based on emetic risk, and spoke about optimal prevention and management strategies for treatment-related CINV. Dr. Barbour's talk was followed by a presentation by Ashley Morris Engemann, PharmD, BCOP, CPP, also from Duke Cancer Institute, who spoke about febrile neutropenia (FN). Highlights of Dr. Engemann's presentation included recommendations of appropriate prophylaxis against FN, a discussion of FN treatment options, and a summary of the role of outpatient management of FN. The Supportive Care in Oncology session ended with a presentation by Susan G. Urba, MD, of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center who discussed the importance of palliative care and pain management to patients with cancer and their families.

In the second session, attendees had the opportunity to hear an overview on New and Emerging Drugs and Biologics, which covered a number of novel cancer therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as emerging agents. Presentations were given by Robert Ignoffo, PharmD, FASHP, FCSHP, of the University of California, San Francisco, and Touro University and VanAnh Trihn, PharmD, BCOP, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Their presentations focused on understanding the clinical implications of new and upcoming oncology therapies and their impact on the current standard of oncology care. The new agents discussed were carfilzomib, regorafenib, vosaroxin, axitinib, crizotinib, ipilimumab, and vemurafenib.

A session on Oral Chemotherapy and Compliance followed, where Sylvia Bartel, RPh, MHP, of Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center spoke about the factors contributing to low compliance of oral chemotherapeutics, the role of these factors in facilitating adherence, and strategies to help patients improve their adherence to these oral medications.

Lastly, Audrea H. Szabatura, PharmD, BCOP, of Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, presented a Case Study on Pharmacy Interventions that Improve Quality of Care. Highlights of her presentation included a review of the pharmacy intervention reporting system utilized at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a discussion of how pharmacy intervention reports are reviewed and categorized, select studies on pharmacy interventions that have impacted standard of care, and an exploration of how these interventions can be used to make improvements.

Following each of the sessions, questions by the attendees were addressed by the speakers.

With more than 125 attendees, the 2012 Pharmacy Program: Best Practices in Oncology Pharmacy Management™ provided the opportunity for oncology pharmacists to stay abreast on the latest advances in oncology care, which is essential for making informed decisions and providing the most effective and efficient care to patients with cancer.