Empowering Oncology Pharmacists: Driving Innovation and Advancement Through Pharmacist-Led Research

Pharmacy Practice in Focus: OncologyApril 2024
Volume 6
Issue 3

The impact pharmacist-led research on oncology pharmacy practice in the field of oncology is undeniable.

Researcher in lab -- Image credit: aFotostock | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: aFotostock | stock.adobe.com

The impact pharmacist-led research on oncology pharmacy practice in the field of oncology is undeniable, with the Hematology/ Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) calling on pharmacists to contribute to cancer research to support these research practices.1 This call by HOPA has been reinforced with reviews that have demonstrated the need for oncology pharmacist participation in clinical research efforts.2 Additionally, although the rate of publication success for hematology/oncology research presented at pharmacy meetings is 17.5%, there is room for growth in this area.3

In the peer-reviewed insights paper on page 24, authors Ryan Beechinor, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP; Cody Angerman, PharmD; and Aaron Steele, PharmD, BCOP, highlight strategies to enhance the impact of pharmacy research and the likelihood of publication. Using a case study on daratumumab (Darzalex; Janssen Biotech) administration optimization, the authors illustrate how implementing research findings can lead to substantial cost savings and improved patient satisfaction, underscoring the transformative potential of pharmacist-driven research in shaping clinical practice.

In the peer-reviewed literature review on page 18, authors Arsheeta Kumar, PharmD; Grace Baek, PharmD, BCOP; and Chloe Siu, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, provide an overview of pirtobrutinib (Jaypirca; Eli Lilly and Company) and Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the current treatment landscape for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), discussing its epidemiology, mechanisms of development, clinical presentation, and treatment landscape evolution. In the peer-reviewed literature review on page 28, authors Matthew M. Lei, PharmD, BCOP; Jack Malespini, PharmD, BCOP; Erica Tavares, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP; Sarah O’Neill, PharmD; Diana Cirstea, MD; and E. Bridget Kim, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, discuss challenges in treating patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and highlight the promising activity of novel therapies, such as anti–B-cell maturation antigen bispecific T-cell engagers, emphasizing the importance of supportive care strategies to optimize patient outcomes in the evolving treatment landscape.

In the cover story on page 15, authors Jose Tinajero, PharmD, BCOP; Amir Ali, PharmD, BCOP; Tammy Harutunyan, PharmD candidate; Teny Khachadourian, PharmD candidate; and Michaela Maher, PharmD candidate, discuss the significant drug shortages in oncology, particularly focusing on the shortage of fludarabine, which is a crucial chemotherapy agent. They highlight the impact of shortages on treatment strategies and patient care, emphasizing the need for pharmacists, regulatory bodies, and health care providers to collaborate, address these challenges, and explore innovative solutions.

The benefit of pharmacist-led research on oncology pharmacy practice is significant, and Pharmacy Practice in Focus: Oncology aims to support this effort with the publication of peer-reviewed papers, including original research, literature reviews, and case reports. For pharmacists who are interested in publishing their work, Pharmacy Practice in Focus: Oncology is interested in reviewing that work and disseminating it to the field.


1. Scope of Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Practice. Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. 2013. Accessed March 11, 2024. https://www.hoparx.org/documents/111/HOPA13_ScopeofPracticeBk1.pdf
2. Holle LM, Boehnke Michaud L. Oncology pharmacists in health care delivery: vital members of the cancer care team. J Oncol Pract. 2014;10(3):e142-e145. doi:10.1200/JOP.2013.001257
3. Wooten KM, Arnall JR, Bowser KM, et al. Publication rates of hematology/oncology abstracts presented at major pharmacy association meetings. J Oncol Pharm Pract. Published online March 27, 2021. doi:10.1177/10781552211004700
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