TOP - November 2020 Vol 13, No 6

The November issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) features important news and insights for today’s oncology pharmacist, including highlights from recent virtual oncology conferences, which cover a range of topics, from efforts underway to improve access to treatment for individuals with cancer during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, to safety and efficacy data on novel agents and combination regimens being used to improve outcomes in patients with hematologic malignancies or solid tumors.
Many cancer vaccines have been studied, but thus far the search has been unsuccessful. Results from a new study suggest that the combination of a messenger (mRNA)-­based personalized cancer vaccine (known as RO7198457) plus the PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) shows promise for the treatment of advanced cancer.
As part of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care’s COVID-19 Impact on Cancer Care and Road to Recovery webcast series, Lillie Shockney, RN, BSN, MAS, HON-ONN-CG, led a panel of experts who reviewed some of the valuable lessons learned, and discussed ongoing challenges that nurses will continue to face as they strive to provide safe and effective care to patients with cancer.
Value-based drug purchasing, better coordination of care delivery, and earlier institution of palliative care were among the measures to lower the cost of cancer care that were suggested during a panel discussion at the 2020 virtual National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Oncology Policy Summit.
PARP inhibition is moving on from breast and ovarian cancer to the treatment of patients with prostate cancer and BRCA1/2 mutation. Olaparib (Lynparza) reduced the risk for death by 31% versus enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone (Zytiga) in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and BRCA1 or BRCA2, and to a lesser extent ATM mutations, according to the final analysis of the phase 3 PROfound trial.
Until the late 1930s, stomach cancer—also called gastric cancer—was the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Although stomach cancer is still a major cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, it is now much less common in this country. The following provides a brief look at some of the key statistics regarding this disease.
Leading global drug manufacturers have been called on to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in myriad ways, and several of their top executives discussed those responses in an August 11 webcast sponsored by the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only resulted in adjustments to the current Oncology Care Model (OCM), but it has led to considerations for future models, said Lara M. Strawbridge, MPH, Director, Ambulatory Payment Models, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), Washington, DC, during the 2020 virtual National Comprehensive Cancer Network Oncology Policy Summit.
This section provides a brief overview of new cancer drugs approved by the FDA between July 31, 2020, and September 4, 2020.
Adding the oral cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4/CDK6 inhibitor abemaciclib (Verzenio) to endocrine therapy led to a significant reduction in the risk for invasive disease recurrence versus endocrine therapy alone in patients with high-risk hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative early-stage breast cancer, according to findings from the phase 3 monarchE clinical trial. The results were presented at the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) virtual meeting and were featured at the meeting press conference.
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