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From the Editors

TOP - May 2019, Vol 12, No 2
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 May issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) features presentations from national and international meetings, including the 2019 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Conference, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 2019 Conference, the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, and the 2019 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

In a noteworthy presentation at the 2019 HOPA Conference, Kellie Jones Weddle, PharmD, BCOP, FCCP, FHOPA, Clinical Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Indianapolis, IN, explained the goals of HOPA’s Patient Outreach Committee, and offered strategies that oncology pharmacists can use to develop and deliver effective outreach services, including navigating the unmet needs of patients.

“You don’t know what you need to create if you don’t know what the needs of your patients are,” Dr Weddle told attendees.

During a presentation at the NCCN 2019 Conference, Neil P. Shah, MD, PhD, Program Leader, Hematopoietic Malignancies Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA, discussed the updated guideline for the management of chronic myeloid leukemia, including the criteria for discontinuation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy in select patients.

“We estimate that no more than 50% of patients who were started on a TKI ultimately have the opportunity to stop treatment,” he said.
This issue of TOP also features emerging data from clinical trials assessing the safety and efficacy of novel combination regimens in several types of malignancies.

At the 2019 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Eric X. Chen, MD, PhD, Affiliate Scientist, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Cancer Clinical Research Unit, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, shared promising results from a phase 2 trial, which showed a survival advantage when durvalumab and tremelimu­mab were added to best supportive care in patients with advanced refractory colorectal cancer.

“The CCTG study is the first study demonstrating the effectiveness of immune checkpoint blockade in patients with colorectal cancer unselected for mismatch repair deficiency,” he said. “We believe that a confirmatory phase 3 study is warranted.”

At the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, Marco L. Davila, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, discussed strategies for monitoring and managing the unique, acute adverse events associated with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

“When we looked into the serum of these patients, we were able to see between those who had no toxicity versus those who did, what was unique was a large upregulation of cytokines within their serum,” Dr Davila said. “We classify this toxicity as cytokine release syndrome.”

Additional topics include the expanding role of immunotherapy in the management of patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (see page 28) and the use of pembrolizumab plus axitinib in the first-line treatment of metastatic renal-cell carcinoma.

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