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From The Editors TOP Sept 2020

TOP - September 2020 Vol 13, No 5
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 September issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) contains important news and insights for today’s oncology pharmacist, including highlights of recent virtual oncology conferences covering a range of topics, from strategies aimed at reducing drug costs and improving patient care, to the latest data on novel agents and combinations that are showing promise in the treatment of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.

In a presentation at the virtual 2020 Community Oncology Alliance (COA) conference, Jim Schwartz, RPh, Executive Director, Pharmacy Operations, Texas, discussed the value of a medically integrated dispensing pharmacy care model, which he said provides clarity of focus around complex disease states (see here).

“Your patients need seamless care. This model improves the patient experience with uninterrupted care delivery,” Mr Schwartz said.

In a separate presentation during the COA conference, Bo Gamble, Director, Strategic Practice Initiatives, COA, discussed the results from a survey of oncology practices participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Oncology Care Model, which revealed that a surprising number of practices are willing to enter into a 2-sided risk arrangement (see here).

“I was struck by how thoughtful the explanations were [for entering 2-sided risk],” he said. “They had given it much thought, almost as if they were echoing their boardroom decisions. This points to how thorough folks had to be in making these decisions,” he added.

This issue of TOP also features highlights from a recent Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC) webcast, in which a panel of experts shared results from trials evaluating anticancer therapies as potential treatments for patients who have contracted the COVID-19 virus (see here).

“Much of the organ damage in COVID does not result from the viral infection itself, but rather from the immune system’s maladaptive overreaction after the initial illness. A current crop of trials focuses on how to safely and effectively attenuate the immune system during viral infection,” said Mark Sloan, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

We also feature details of several sessions from the ASCO 2020 virtual annual meeting, in which investigators presented safety and efficacy data for novel regimens being used in the treatment of a variety of cancers. These included promising results with CAR T-cell therapy in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (see here), Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in treatment-naïve chronic lymphocytic leukemia (see here), and immunotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer (see here and here ).

As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TOP, and we invite you to visit to share your feedback about this issue with us or send comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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