Carla Pensack - CAPhO19 Summary Report

I would like to begin by thanking the members of the CAPhO Awards Committee for awarding me one of the Wild Card travel grants this year, which enabled me to attend the CAPhO 2019 conference in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia.  This was my first time attending a CAPhO conference, my first time submitting a research poster at a conference, and my first time in the East Coast – all of which was made possible by this travel grant.

This year’s conference theme was on personalized medicine, and many of the topics presented certainly reflected this.  One of my favourite plenary sessions on this topic was presented by Shirin Abadi.  It was truly fascinating to hear about the research on pharmacogenomics that the BC Cancer Agency was involved in.  The study involved performing genomic sequencing of patient’s tumors to look for mutations, and then utilizing therapies (many of which were unconventional) to treat the cancer based on the mutations that were present.  It was truly inspiring to hear that pharmacists such as herself were a part in such an important project.

There were a variety of relevant and interesting topics presented during both the satellite symposia and plenary sessions, including how to incorporate biosimilars into practice, tailoring anticoagulation for cancer patients, the latest developments in the treatment of CLL and multiple myeloma, and how to use social media to promote and disseminate evidence-based medical information.  All of the speakers were very engaging, and their presentations provided an abundance of useful information that I will bring back with me to share with my colleagues at CancerCare Manitoba.

The Friday reception in the exhibit hall amongst the research posters was one of my favourite events.  My colleague and I presented a poster entitled “Workload and Utilization Impact of a Pharmacy-Led Intervention to Electronic Ordering of Subcutaneous Rituximab.”  This was our first time presenting a poster at a conference.  I really enjoyed speaking with other conference attendees about our poster, and also very much enjoyed viewing all of the other posters that were submitted.  It was very inspiring to see all of the research that other oncology pharmacists have been involved in.  I am already looking forward to my next research project, and hope to be able to present it at a future CAPhO conference.

Overall, the CAPhO 2019 conference provided me with wonderful opportunities to gain a large amount of knowledge that is very relevant to my practice, to share knowledge and network with other oncology pharmacists across Canada, to learn more about the CAPhO organization, and to experience a new city in this beautiful country of ours.  I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend and participate in this year’s conference, and I certainly look forward to attending future CAPhO events!

Carla Pensack
Clinic pharmacist, Lymphoproliferative Disease Site Group
CancerCare Manitoba