Tonya Ng - CAPhO19 Summary Report

I am grateful to CAPhO for granting me the merit award and giving me the opportunity to attend the conference. I especially want to thank BC Cancer Pharmacy Director Lynne Nakashima and the incredible BC Cancer pharmacy team for their support. 

I arrived in Halifax after a long day’s travel from Vancouver on April 25, 2019. My jetlag quickly dissipated as I was greeted by the warm Maritime hospitality and glorious waterfront view. My adventure at CAPhO had officially begun. 

CAPhO conference had a great combination of stimulating plenary sessions, round table discussions and networking opportunities. I enjoyed the variety of subjects presented—from the overview of evolution of adjuvant systemic therapy for breast cancer treatment, learning what’s new in myeloma therapy, to leading edge topics like CAR t-cell therapies and therapeutic application of pharmacogenomics in oncology. These topics challenge our thinking, make us debate our accepted norms and consider ways to encourage innovation, yet ensure sustainability of public healthcare system. I also enjoyed the format of round table discussions, as it offered quick and dynamic sharing of ideas, e.g. innovative systemic preparation tools. 

I had the privilege of presenting our team’s poster “Do Oncology Exceptional Treatments Warrant the Special Treatment.” Sharing our findings with attendees and also learning about other projects conducted at cancer centres across the country was inspiring. It motivated me to continue to develop my research skills and think of innovative ways to move forward cancer care. 

I also appreciated that CAPhO combined fun with learning opportunities. How appropriate it was for us to spend time at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 before the Awards Gala to reflect on our forbearers’ journeys.  After all, cancer care is about human connections and we, as healthcare providers, must support our patients through their own difficult journeys.

Thank you again CAPhO for a wonderful conference. Until next time…