I would like to thank the CAPhO Board of Directors and the Awards Committee for awarding me with the Wild Card Travel Grant, which allowed me the opportunity to attend this year's conference in Toronto, Ontario as a first-time attendee. It was perfect timing and location with the venue at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, located next to Ontario Lake with a tranquil view of the water surrounded by the bustling and traffic-congested area of the city. We were blessed with the warm and sunny sky throughout the 3-day conference.
I attended the pre-conference bone marrow transplant (BMT) workshop. This unique area of practice has been so intriguing to me. I was interested in learning from the BMT experts and mentors Nikki Blosser, Pamela Yafai, and Jennifer Jupp. It was practical and collaborative as we were grouped in teams of 5-6 members who came from different provinces across the country. I really enjoyed participating in round table discussions about the patient cases involving CAR-T, autologous, and allogeneic stem cell transplants. The workshop revolved around the role of a pharmacist working collaboratively with other healthcare team members in caring for a patient during stages from pre, during, and post-stem cell transplant. I learned to identify drug interactions between medications used for stem cell transplant patients and their home medications and provide patients with supportive care plans as they are discharged to continue on with survivorship. The workshop provided me with insights, knowledge, and skills that fit the theme of this year’s conference, “Innovation and Collaboration: Looking Forward”.
The 3-day conference was full of learning opportunities from symposiums, poster presentations, networking events, plenaries, CAPhO Annual General Meeting, core presentations, and the awards gala.
The first day of the conference started with a number of symposia, optimizing asparaginase therapy in ALL, treatment for early relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, and an oncology pharmacist’s role in improving adherence and outcomes in patients on oral oncology medications. The day ended with a welcome reception and poster-viewing exhibit.
On the second day of the conference, I had an opportunity to refresh my knowledge about the different formulas of determining kidney function in oncology patients and their guidelines. Dr. Scott Edwards did a fantastic job of summarizing them. Due to the fact that kidney dysfunction is common for oncology patients, as an oncology pharmacist, my role is to make sure that my patients are taking safe and effective cancer drugs. This updated knowledge about KDIGO guidelines recommending CKD-EPI as the preferred formula for estimating kidney function in the oncology setting is valuable in my practice. The day of the conference was ended with a fun group run in which some of us went running outside for fresh air and to recharge. It was another great opportunity for me to meet and greet other pharmacists from other provinces. The gala was also a highlight event for the conference.
On the last day of the conference, the highlights of the day were the townhall meeting, poster award presentations, round table discussions, and my decision to join the Education Committee. I felt as though I needed to contribute my part to this organization and to the pharmacy profession as a whole.
My first CAPhO conference was a memorable experience with many learning and networking opportunities. I left Toronto with hopes of more learning opportunities in oncology and hematology and improving future patient care. We all got together in Toronto with one goal in mind: “Innovation and Collaboration”. I look forward to bringing this fresh knowledge back to my organization and applying them to my oncology practice to improve patient outcomes. I am eager to attend many more CAPhO conferences in the future.