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From The Editors

TOP - July 2020, Vol 13, No 4
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 July issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) is filled with important news and insights for today’s oncology pharmacist. We begin our coverage with highlights from webinar sessions held by the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC), in which leading healthcare experts addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on oncology delivery systems and the management of patients.

In one of these sessions, Burt Zweigenhaft, PhD, DLitt, Founder, AVBCC, moderated a panel of experts who discussed changes being made by pharmaceutical manufacturers and other stakeholders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (see here).

“We are open for business and strive to leave no patient behind,” remarked Roy Baynes, MD, PhD, Head, Global Clinical Development, and Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories, during the session.

In a separate presentation, experts engaged in a discussion surrounding the benefits and challenges of implementing telehealth services during the pandemic.

“It has taken this crisis to push us to a new frontier, but there is absolutely no going back,” said Rick Lee, Executive Chairman, Healthy Platforms and CancerLife, who moderated this informative session.

In addition to the AVBCC webinar coverage, this issue of TOP features key sessions from national oncology meetings, including presentations on innovative strategies for detecting and diagnosing cancer, as well as presentations featuring the latest safety and efficacy data on new drugs and combination regimens for various malignancies.

During a noteworthy presentation at the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research virtual annual meeting, David D. Thiel, MD, Chair, Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, discussed the Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas study, which is designed to characterize the landscape of genomic cancer signals in the blood of individuals with and without cancer (see here).

“This test is intended to be used alongside guideline-recommended screening and not replace it,” Dr Thiel noted.

During the same meeting, a team of oncologists from different COVID-19 hotspots around the world offered a snapshot of wisdom gleaned from their experience thus far during the ongoing health crisis (see here).

“Our data suggest an unexpectantly high mortality among patients with thoracic cancers, with a 34.6% death rate,” noted Marina Chiara Garassino, MD, Medical Oncologist, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy, who presented early data from a global registry. “In the large majority, the cause of death is attributed to COVID-19 infection, not to cancer,” she added.

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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