CAPhO Compass

The Compass is the blog of the Canadian Association of Oncology in Pharmacy. It covers multiple topics related to the practice of oncology pharmacy in Canada. For information about how to submit a post, please contact the Communications Committee Chair

World Cancer Day: Geneva, Switzerland – Establlished on February 4, 2000 World Cancer Day aims to promote research for curing as well as preventing cancer, upgrading the provided services to the patients, the sensitisation of the common opinion and the mobillisation of the global community against cancer.

Cancer will kill more than eight million people worldwide this year, which is equivalent to the entire population of New York. Half of these will be people of working age (30-69 years old).

It has been estimated that the cost implications on world...Read more

Oncology pharmacy practice is changing at a rapid pace. Each year numerous cancer fighting drugs are approved for use in Canada. Health Canada reviews the nomenclature of new drug submissions by analyzing many factors including visual perception, auditory perception, short-term memory recall and psycholinguistic analysis. Despite these efforts, errors relating to look-alike sound-alike (LASA) drugs continue to occur in practice, and some of these errors have very serious consequences. Safety Strategies for Look-alike and...Read more
The Top 3 Things I Learned Providing Care to Oncology Patients

Guest post by Chantel Martin (edited by Amy Smith)

Each summer the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency pharmacy staff has the pleasure of working alongside aspiring pharmacists, such as Chantel Martin. In this guest blog post, Chantel shares her top 3 things she learned after a summer working with oncology patients. - Amy Smith

Starting a job at the Cancer Centre was exciting but also terrifying. Although I have completed 3 years of my pharmacy degree, our oncology and pain lectures do not take place until our...Read more

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NIOSH has released their DRAFT Protocol: A Vapor Containment Performance Protocol for Closed System Transfer Devices Used During Pharmacy Compounding and Administration of Hazardous Drugs. It is available as a WORD and a PDF.

Click here for link

Further information about the documents can be found ...Read more

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Guest post by Darren Bogle (edited by Amy Smith)

Each summer the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency pharmacy staff has the pleasure of working along side aspiring pharmacists, such as Darren Bogle. In this guest blog post, Darren shares some personal insights by reflecting upon his time with our patients. - Amy Smith

My Summer Job at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre

The Saskatoon Cancer Centre provides learning opportunities for various learners- from students to new practitioners. This summer, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to work at the Cancer...Read more

Amy Smith, as part of her ...Read more

"While completing a Postbaccalaureate PharmD experiential rotation with medSask ( ), I had the opportunity work alongside Karolina Koziol, a 4 th year pharmacy student at the University of Saskatchewan, Here, Karolina shares her research and thoughts on drug interactions with oral chemotherapy agents." – Amy Smith

Guest Blogger: Karolina Koziol (Pharmacy Intern, University of Saskatchewan)

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the...Read more

CAPhO Conference 2015 contest underway. Tweet to win. Use hashtag #CAPhOCon15 in a tweet on Twitter to win. Members at the conference can win an iPad. Those who could not attend, following live from home can win a Kindle. Each tweet is an entry!

Search #CAPhOCon15 in search field within Twitter to connect with colleagues, see what information being shared from the conference and join the conversation.

See CAPhO Communications Committee video for details:

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#CAPhOCon15 is the official conference Twitter hashtag.

We have an exciting contest to be announced at Saturday morning's opening remarks in St. John's. Those attending live and those following along at home via Twitter are eligible for prizes! For those at home, details (video) will be posted on CAPhO's twitter account: @capho_acpho

Why use Twitter at a conference?

There are many benefits; Dr. Christian Sinclair highlights some of these in this article...Read more

As announced last month here , Broadfield's Buddies, as promised, sported in blue in support of CAPhO founder Larry Broadfield. The following is a sample of some of the photos captured from that day (hat tip to Philip Shaheen and Meg McCallum for the pics). Well done and all the best to Larry!

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This was forwarded to us from a colleague of Larry's:

"In honour of Larry Broadfield, CCNS [Cancer Care Nova Scotia] Staff are participating in Dress in Blue Day March 25th, 2015. "

"Dress in Blue Day is a fund-raiser for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. To that end, we have created a team "Broadfield's Buddies". If you'd like to make a contribution (no pressure) click here or go to...Read more

Guest post by Tom McFarlane


Until relatively recently, metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) was a disease with very few treatment options available. Patient options were limited to bisphosphonate use for bony metastases and, eventually, chemotherapy of somewhat questionable efficacy with docetaxel and/or mitoxantrone. Since 2010, there have been several promising agents which have emerged in both the pre-chemo and post-chemo settings in mCRPC which have demonstrated progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS)...Read more

Amy Smith, as part of her Green Oncology series

The severe neurotoxicities that may occur with methotrexate (MTX) therapy are unpredictable and troubling (to say the least). During a recent experience, a patient with high dose MTX induced leukoencephalopathy presenting with concurrent disorientation and confusion left me seeking ways to resolve these concerning symptoms. Although the benefits of aminophylline have been discussed on list servers or email threads...Read more

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by Amy Smith, as part of her Green Oncology series

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to collaborate with Dr. David Blackburn, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, on a research project with a focus in patient adherence. We reviewed de-identified patient data from the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA) to assess compliance rates to an orally administered chemotherapy agent: abiraterone .

The Issue:

A shift is occurring in chemotherapy administration from...Read more

by Amy Smith, as part of her Green Oncology series

The Issue:

In a previous posting, I focused on qualities I admire in pharmacy preceptors. However, on the other side of the precepting equation is the pharmacy student. Once again a student myself, I am actively reflecting on the qualities I wish to embody to achieve the best possible learning experience. Below are some characteristics I hope to display and hope other students will as well. So to finish this two part series…Dear Pharmacy...Read more

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