Shirin Abadi - ISOPP 2016 Summary Report

Thank you for the opportunity to attend the ISOPP 2016 Symposium in Santiago, Chile, April 17th – 20th, 2016. It was a fantastic experience, filled with plenty of learning and networking opportunities. The Planning and Scientific Program Committees did a great job of organizing many practice-based and relevant oncology pharmacy presentations, ranging from the global disparities observed in access to cancer medicines to immunotherapy in melanoma and other solid tumours, to antiemetic updates, pharmacovigilance plan for biologics and biosimilar antibodies, medication adherence, PD-L1 testing, dermatologic toxicities, supportive care updates, complementary and alternative medications, dose banding, pharmacogenomics, USP 800 implementation, pediatrics oncology update, hematological cancer updates, end of life care, investigational updates, lean thinking, global impact of cancer care, integrating research into practice, hazardous drug handling, cultural diversity, and more. 
 
Among many great takeaways, it is reassuring to know that WHO is calling for “an 80% availability of affordable, basic technologies and essential medicines by 2025, including those for cancer”, given the “global disparity in availability and access to cancer treatment and care services”, and that there might be opportunities for ISOPP to contribute expertise and support to the achievement of this important WHO goal. It was also great to be reminded of the novel immunotherapy regimens for melanoma and other types of cancers, including indications, mechanisms of action, effectiveness and safety, and the treatments that are on the horizon. As new systemic therapies, such as targeted agents, immune checkpoint inhibitors, etc. contribute to improved survival in patients with cancer, it is crucial for pharmacists to be aware of and be able to improve compliance, while preventing/treating adverse effects and drug interactions secondary to the use of these agents. Dermatological toxicities are among important adverse effects that can significantly impact the quality of life of patients with cancer and understanding the mechanisms of these toxicities and how best to prevent/reduce them can contribute greatly to improving patient care.
 
In addition to the oral presentations, there were great research posters presented on a variety of topics ranging from development of knowledge competency framework for pharmacists in stem cell transplantation to measuring the impact of clinical pharmacists on medication adherence, quality of life, hypertension, ambulatory chemotherapy patients, etc., to assessing the barriers to good medication taking behaviours, evaluating the impact of a recall prescription software, audit of febrile neutropenia management, drug utilization review of denosumab, health IT impact in oncology clinical management, trastuzumab-induced cardiotoxicity, head and neck cancer treatment, pharmacovigilance, chemotherapy safe-handling, drug interactions of voriconazole and cyclosporine, Pharmacokinetic dosing of 5-FU, BRAF-mutant HT29 tumorgenesis & metastasis, German oncology practice, abiraterone adherence, and more. We had the pleasure of presenting our research project on the “Utilization of Capecitabine plus Oxaliplatin (CAPOX) and 5-Fluorouracil/Folinic Acid plus Oxaliplatin (FFOX) in the Adjuvant Treatment of Stage II and Stage III Colon Cancer”, which illustrated a higher utilization rate of FFOX vs. CAPOX, and fewer dose-limiting toxicities and higher dose-intensities with FFOX vs. CAPOX. Thank you again for this great opportunity. 
 
Shirin Abadi, B.Sc.(Pharm.), ACPR, Pharm. D., MBA, FCSHP