From The Editors November 2020

TOP - November 2020 Vol 13, No 6 - From the Editors
Patrick J. Medina, PharmD, BCOP
Medical Science Liaison
Medical Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline
Collegeville, PA
Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy
University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy
Steven Stricker, PharmD, MS, BCOP
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Samford University
Birmingham, AL

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.

In a panel discussion at the 2020 virtual National Comprehensive Cancer Network Oncology Policy Summit, experts shared strategies aimed at lowering the cost of healthcare. During this session, Gena Cook, Founder and President of Navigating Cancer in Seattle, WA, described an effective approach recently adopted by her organization (see see here).

“One of the areas that we’ve been focusing on is automating and creating a faster process for triage and telehealth, and using symptom management pathways or guidelines,” she said.

In a noteworthy session during the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) virtual meeting, investigators presented exciting results from the large phase 3 monarchE clinical trial, which showed a significant reduction in the risk for invasive recurrence with the addition of abemaciclib to endocrine therapy in patients with high-risk hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative early- stage breast cancer (see see here).

“This is the first time in more than 20 years that we have seen an advance in the adjuvant treatment of this form of breast cancer,” said lead investigator Stephen R.D. Johnston, MD, MA, PhD, FRCP, Head of the Breast Unit at Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

This issue of TOP also includes key presentations from the 2020 virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting, including highlights from the keynote address by Solange Peters, MD, PhD, ESMO President, and Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland. In her address, Dr Peters discussed updated findings from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium cohort study, including data showing that the death rate in patients with cancer who have COVID-19 disease is 16%, which is approximately triple the rate of the general population (see see here).

“Putting all of this in perspective, our findings strongly indicate that the role of emerging treatments requires formal prospective trials in the future,” she said.

We also feature details of a new report from the AACR pointing to the need for better healthcare equity in patients with cancer (see see here).

“An individual’s race, ethnicity, geographic location, or income should not dictate his or her cancer outcomes, but unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening today,” said AACR President Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, FAACR, Professor of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, during a virtual presentation.

As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TOP, and 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: November 9, 2020