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From The Editors

TOP - January 2020, Vol 13, No 1
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 January issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) features the latest medical news, expert perspectives, clinical trial results, and drug updates, as well as key highlights from national and international meetings, including the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019, the 2019 Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 2019 Hematologic Malignancies meeting.

In a noteworthy presentation at the ESMO Congress 2019, Arndt Vogel, MD, PhD, Professor of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hanover Medical School, Germany, shared results from the phase 2 clinical trial FIGHT-202, which assessed the efficacy of pemigatinib, a selective oral fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor that is showing promise in the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) who have FGFR2 fusions or rearrangements (see here).

“In many CCAs, you can detect genetic alterations, which allow targeted therapies,” said Dr Vogel, who was the lead investigator in the trial. “Among them, there are many patients with FGFR2 fusions or rearrangements. They exclusively occur in intrahepatic CCA and are detectable in around 15% of the patients, indicating that this might be an interesting patient population to be treated by an FGFR inhibitor,” he added.

During a presentation at the 2019 Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium, Dylan M. Zylla, MD, MS, Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, HealthPartners Park Nicollet, St Louis Park, MN, explored the potential benefits and challenges associated with the use of medical cannabis to improve pain control and lower opioid requirements in patients with advanced cancer (see here). “Randomized studies of medical cannabis are feasible, but rigorous data collection remains a challenge. This stuff probably has a benefit somewhere. We just need the data to prove it, especially in the cancer setting,” he told attendees.

At the NCCN 2019 Hematologic Malignancies meeting, Jorge J. Castillo, MD, Clinical Director, Bing Center for Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, discussed the importance of personalization when choosing among the treatment options currently available for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (see here). “In the relapsed and refractory setting, patient preference has become much more important,” Dr Castillo explained.

In a separate presentation at the meeting, Rafael Bejar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA, provided the audience with an in-depth review of personalized therapeutic approaches in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and discussed exciting research on the horizon (see here).

“MDS is not a disease that is dramatically different from AML, especially for those patients who have higher-risk disease and many blasts. While there are no newly approved drugs for higher-risk MDS, we have been borrowing from AML and their embarrassment of riches recently,” Dr Bejar said.

As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TOP, and we invite you to share your feedback about this issue with us or send comments. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

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