In the February issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP), we feature a profile of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, which is among the leading cancer care providers in the United States, and is a National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center as part of the 7-member Harvard Medical School consortium.
“I am grateful that we as pharmacists are contributing to patient care and making a difference in the lives of individuals with cancer,” said Gayle Blouin, PharmD, BCOP, the center’s Clinical Lead Pharmacist, Ambulatory Oncology, in an interview with TOP. “We monitor patients closely to ensure they are receiving the right treatment at the right dose at the right time, and that they understand their medications."
This issue also features highlights of key presentations and studies from recent national meetings, including the 4th Annual Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management Program, the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress, and the 2016 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer.
Of note, one presenter at the HOPA event shared the positive results of a pharmacy-led oral chemotherapy program established at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. As part of the integrated, closed-loop, pharmacy-led oral chemotherapy program, the clinical pharmacist served as a liaison between the medical team and the specialty pharmacy interacting with patients.
“When pharmacists are present and managing patients and their toxicities, it does translate to improved clinical outcomes. We were excited to illustrate that and validate what we already knew,” Benyam Muluneh, PharmD, BCOP, CPP, Oncology Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, UNC Medical Center, Malignant Hematology Clinic, told attendees.
In addition to conference news, this issue provides valuable insight on the association between drug–drug interactions and inferior survival rates in older patients with aggressive lymphoma; the high rates of vancomycin-resistant enterococci being observed in patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplant; the National Comprehensive Cancer Network campaign that may prevent fatal medication errors by targeting accidental intrathecal dosing of vincristine; and emerging immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.