Rising to Meet the Challenges of COVID-19 in Cancer Care

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Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition, November 2020, Volume 2, Issue 5

This month, Directions in Oncology Pharmacy® highlights a variety of ways that cancer care treatments are evolving, along with how practices are evolving, including best practices for the safety of health care workers such as oncology pharmacists.

Cancer care provides have been hit with unprecedented challenges in 2020, as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives. Pharmacists, drug developers, and clinical investigators are rising to meet these challenges and persevering to ensure that patients with cancer receive the treatments they need to improve their outcomes.

This month, Directions in Oncology Pharmacy® highlights a variety of ways that cancer care treatments are evolving, along with how practices are evolving, including best practices for the safety of health care workers such as oncology pharmacists.

An article about bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) as the next generation of immunotherapy appears on page 8. The bsAb pipeline is active—and just one area in which oncology pharmacy is showing promise.

Additionally, the oncology drug pipeline is highlighted on page 16. This article examines recent FDA approvals and some investigational drugs for various cancers presented during the recent National Association of Specialty Pharmacy 2020 Annual Meeting & Expo Virtual Experience.

This issue also includes coverage of the recent European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020. This meeting, like so many health care meetings this year, pivoted to a virtual format to continue providing vital information to oncology professionals without compromising their safety. Coverage of the ESMO meeting begins on page 46. Several articles also highlight recent clinical trials that have demonstrated beneficial results for patients.

We also examine how pharmacy-integrated telehealth solutions are advancing during the pandemic as a means to safely provide patient care. Individuals with orphan and ultraorphan conditions who are struggling with adherence, isolation, and other issues affecting their care are being provided with alternatives to traditional office visits. Videoconferencing and phone calls are among the solutions discussed on page 31.

In addition, a web series on best practices for pharmacist safety when using hazardous agents is featured on page 29. In this Pharmacy Times® Practice Pearls video series, several experts discuss the challenges faced by many oncology pharmacists and offer insights into how proper personal protective equipment and adequate infrastructure can be used to keep health care workers safe.

Thank you to oncology pharmacists for all your hard work every day of every year and particularly during these critical times. We salute your professionalism and passion for protecting patients and your communities.

Please stay safe.