In the October issue of The Oncology Pharmacist, we feature highlights from the recent Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA)’s Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management Program, including an article on the challenges of managing patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) associated with ALK mutations. At HOPA, Jim M. Koeller, MS, Professor, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, discussed the current treatment guidelines for this patient population, emphasizing the need for pharmacist inclusion during testing for ALK mutations.
“In the diagnostic phase, there should be discussions in institutions with pharmacists included. They need to talk about the appropriate genetic test, and which markers are known to identify with the disease,” he told attendees.
In a separate presentation at HOPA, Hiroshi Nokihara, MD, PhD, of the National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan, presented data from a recent clinical trial demonstrating the effectiveness of alectinib in significantly improving progression-free survival of patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.
“Based on these results, we believe that alectinib is the new standard first-line therapy for ALK-positive NSCLC,” suggested Dr Nokihara.
A third article from HOPA’s Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management Program is being featured, focusing on ways to lower the cost of complying with US Pharmacopeial Convention Chapter 800 (USP 800). Addressing the new USP 800 standards, Ryan A. Forrey, PharmD, MS, FASHP, Director of Pharmacy, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Atlanta, GA, provided practical tips for the successful construction, renovation, and maintenance of hazardous drug sterile compounding spaces in an oncology setting.
“The important thing is not to consider your current space sufficient. Don’t limit yourself, because then you may not get to the right compliant design in the end,” Dr Forrey said.
Notable studies are also featured from the 2016 annual conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the 2016 MASCC/ISOO annual meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer, and the 2016 annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
In addition to conference news, this issue provides valuable insight on the implementation of behavioral and environmental strategies to manage patients with delirium; the effectiveness of SGX942 in decreasing severe oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer; and the reduction in chemotherapy use among patients with breast cancer who undergo a genetic test to guide treatment decision-making.