Dear CAPhO Members,
It is my absolute privilege to be writing to you regarding my experience at the CAPhO 2023 Conference as the recipient of the Student and Resident Travel Grant. The conference took place at the beautiful Westin Harbor Castle in Toronto, right on the shore of Lake Ontario. The experience of my first in-person CAPhO conference did not disappoint, with a variety of plenaries, satellite symposia, networking events, and the first ever pre-conference BMT workshop.
The theme of the conference, “Innovation and Collaboration: Looking forward” was prominent throughout every aspect of the conference and incorporated in unique and inspiring ways. The weekend started with a unique and educational workshop on patient care in the BMT setting. As participants we were treated to educational instruction from experts in the field, and then had the opportunity to work through three unique patient cases, with each one focusing on either autologous stem cell transplant, allogenic stem cell transplant, or CAR-T therapy. This workshop provided a great opportunity for practitioners from across the country with various experience in this setting to come together and share knowledge, insight, and learn from each other.
On Friday, conference participants were treated to a variety of satellite symposia, with topics ranging from therapeutic drug monitoring for optimizing asparaginase therapy in ALL to new treatments in HER2+ and HER2- breast cancer. The most impactful session of this day for me was on the topic of Immunotherapy in metastatic urothelial carcinoma. During this session, not only did we get to hear about immunotherapy advancements from expert practitioners, but also from a patient who is living with metastatic urothelial carcinoma and undergoing immunotherapy. The incorporation of the patient perspective was truly inspiring and provided a unique perspective on collaboration and reinforced the concept of patient centered care.
The rest of the weekend was filled with informative sessions on maximizing engagement to avoid burnout, clinical controversies including renal function in oncology practice and dose banding in oncology practice, as well as round table discussions and presentations on current innovative practices being completed by oncology pharmacists across Canada.
The opportunity to attend this conference not only solidified my passion for oncology but also the belief that no matter what area of pharmacy you practice in, continuing to learn about advancements in oncology is imperative for excellent patient care. I left the conference feeling truly inspired and hope to have the opportunity to attend many more CAPhO conferences in the future.
Megan Hopkins, RPh, PharmD
PGY1 Alberta Health Services Calgary Zone Resident