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From the Editor - TOP November 2018

TOP - November 2018, Vol 11, No 3 - From the Editors

The November issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) features key presentations from the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association 2018 Practice Management Conference. Emily Mackler, PharmD, BCOP, and Shannon Hough, PharmD, BCOP, discuss the pharmacist’s role in the emerging Oncology Care Model, and how pharmacist participation in many of the quality-focused improvement opportunities is critical (click here).

“As we think about how we define the quality of care we provide, it is important that we use consistent terminology so that we are all on the same page. And as we talk about how we as oncology pharmacists can impact quality, we need to make sure that how we are presenting, sharing with peers, and documenting is consistent,” Dr Mackler advises.

Jeffrey Reichard, PharmD, MS, BCPS (RPD), Director of Pharmacy, Hospital-Based Infusion, Oncology, and Specialty Pharmacy Service Lines, Novant Health Infusion, Winston-Salem, NC, examines the role of business intelligence programs and their ability to contribute to overall decision-making capabilities (click here). “How are specialty pharmacists being alerted at the right time, for the right patient, to make their intervention?” he asks. “It does not just happen; to get it right for the right patient, there really needs to be some technology to help them.”

This issue of TOP also provides information on emerging therapies, including preliminary phase 1 clinical trial results of 2 novel treatments presented at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting.

Vivek Subbiah, MD, Associate Medical Director, Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, lead investigator of the ARROW clinical trial, reveals that tumor reductions and durable responses were observed in most patients with lung or thyroid cancer and RET mutations who received BLU-667, a novel oral agent that targets RET genetic alterations (click here).

The investigational toll-like receptor 9 agonist CMP-001 in combination with pembrolizumab may reverse resistance to anti–PD-1 therapy, according to lead investigator Mohammed Milhem, MD, Director, Melanoma Program, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City (click here). “The abscopal effect observed in these patients is a hallmark of successful intratumoral immunotherapy treatment,” he noted at AACR.

We also feature coverage from the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. Of note, Helena M. Earl, MBBS, PhD, FRCP, Professor of Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Cambridge, England, presented results of the PERSEPHONE clinical trial, which showed that 6 months of treatment with trastuzumab was noninferior to 12 months in terms of disease-free survival in women with early, HER2-positive breast cancer (click here).

“Reducing the course of trastuzumab by half can cut down the percentage of people who had to stop due to cardiotoxicity by 50%, and will reduce cost as well,” said Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, ASCO President and Chief Clinical Research Officer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Dr Earl was a bit more guarded in her assessment. “We need a more detailed look at the data. We need to be cautious before saying 6 months is enough,” she said.

We invite you to visit www.TheOncologyPharmacist.com to share your feedback about this issue with us, or send comments to info@TheOncologyPharmacist.com. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

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Last modified: September 9, 2019