Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium Helps Pharmacists Stay On Top of Cancer Care Advances

Specialty Pharmacy Times, September/October 2016, Volume 7, Issue 5

The Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium: Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow, will allow pharmacists to obtain continuing education credits while staying on top of the latest oncology advances.

Staying up-to-date on ever-evolving treatments and learning new information is a critical aspect of being a health care professional.

Without advancing knowledge, advancing treatments is impossible, especially in the world of oncology. Attending conferences is one way of continuing education that also incorporates increased collaboration between health care professionals from different fields who may not have otherwise shared their insights.

Each individual provides experience that offers a new perspective, as they share ideas, opinions, and insights that help to advance the health care system. This collaboration between various professionals is especially important for pharmacists and specialty pharmacists, who have become an increasingly important part of the health care ecosystem.

These professionals help patients to achieve treatment successes and positive outcomes by assisting with adherence, proper use of medication, side-effect management, and answering any questions or problems patients may have. Specialty pharmacists, in particular, are an important part of the oncology landscape due to the challenging nature of treating a life-threatening disease with potentially complicated regimens that patients must adhere to in order to achieve benefit from high-cost, high-touch therapies.

Pharmacists need to remain vigilant to stay on top of current advances, as well as involved with continuing their education through conferences, to ensure that each patient they treat is receiving optimal, personalized treatment.

“Pharmacists are essential members of an interprofessional oncology treatment team,” said David Heckard, president of Pharmacy Times® Continuing Education™ (PTCE™). “They are a critical resource to patients undergoing cancer treatment. Pharmacists are on the front lines of patient care, providing side-effect management, patient education, and advocacy for patients undergoing complicated, sometimes long-term, treatments. It is critically important for them to keep up with the complexities of evolving cancer treatments.”

Due to the significant importance of pharmacists in the modern oncology world, the upcoming 34th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium: Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow® will also be directed toward pharmacists, along with other cancer care providers, to offer continuing education credits. Over the past 33 years, the symposium has brought together thousands of oncologists, hematologists, radiation oncologists, immunologists, oncology nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and case managers, all in the hope of advancing cancer care and educating oncology professionals.

Pharmacists have been incorporated into this conference due to a novel partnership between Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC, and PTCE™. The partnership has allowed the symposium to offer continuing education credits to pharmacists who attend, reinforcing the notion that keeping up with new cancer advances and research is increasingly important for every health care professional involved with cancer treatment.

It has also created additional collaboration opportunities for pharmacists with other health care professionals to discuss observations, research, and real-life situations they may encounter. The goal of this multi-day symposium, held in New York City from November 9-11, 2016, is to educate health care professionals on state-of-the-art treatments, across all types of cancer and in all clinical scenarios.

Lead researchers involved in clinical trials will be presenting various findings to provide attendees with information about novel drugs, new approaches to diagnosing and treating patients, clinical trials, and developments in controlling and curing cancer. After the conference, attendees will be able to better understand new, practice-changing findings from clinical trials, which carry important implications for treating patients with hematologic and solid tumors.

Optimal chemotherapeutic, targeted, and immunotherapy treatment strategies evaluated in recent clinical trials will also be discussed by presenters. Novel methods to monitor efficacy and manage adverse events in cancer management will be the most applicable to pharmacists, since that is a significant portion of their job, Heckard noted. Oncology is a rapidly changing area in health care, with new research published every day.

It is the dedication of health care professionals on oncology teams who keep patients hopeful that they will receive the optimal treatment and will, one day, be free from the burden of this insidious, life-threatening disease. The increased involvement of pharmacists and specialty pharmacists on oncology teams has provided patients with an additional resource for knowledge and support during an uncertain time in their lives.

“Pharmacists have become a very important part of the cancer care team. As medication experts, pharmacists practicing in the oncology setting must stay abreast of the new and emerging treatment options across a wide array of tumor types,” Heckard said. “The Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium will provide attending pharmacists with the same cutting-edge data that their oncologist colleagues receive and increase the level of care that they can provide in their practices.”