The Oncology Field Expands to Meet the Needs of the Whole Patient

Pharmacy Practice in Focus: OncologyJune 2023
Volume 5
Issue 4

Folowing the COVID-19 pandemic, broad swaths of the health care industry began seeing significant changes. One of the most important has been the revitalized focus on mental health. Perhaps because of the mental health challenges that health care professionals themselves faced during the pandemic—and perhaps also due to the impact of social isolation on the mental health of individuals around the globe—we have learned that we can no longer ignore this aspect of human health across the health care industry.

3d rendered illustration of the anatomy of a cancer cell | Image Credit: SciePro -

SciePro -

One impact of this revitalized focus on mental health has been the resurgence in research investigating psychedelic medicine, a field that has lain dormant since medicines such as lysergic acid diethylamide and psilocybin (magic mushrooms) were outlawed in the 1960s. Before these drugs were outlawed, vast numbers of researchers were investigating their use to manage mental health issues and to help mental health professionals better understand the experience of psychosis symptoms by, in some cases, taking the drugs themselves. The latter area of research was found to be less fruitful in terms of study outcomes, whereas the former reaped clinically significant results.

In a feature article on page 28, we dive deeper into current investigations by oncologists assessing the impact of managing major depressive disorder with psilocybin in patients with cancer. On page 32, we also look at study findings detailing the impact that depression can have on clinical outcomes from treatments for patients with breast cancer.

Additionally, in the cover feature on page 18, authors Jessie Modlin, PharmD, BCOP; Khanh Huynh, PharmD, BCACP, APh; Whitney Fakolade, PharmD; and Kevin Pang, PharmD, discuss novel immunotherapies in the perioperative setting in the management of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), as well as the impact these treatments may have on clinical practice. Perioperative systemic treatment of MIBC requires careful consideration to achieve optimal long-term outcomes and maintain a good quality of life, according to the authors.

On page 31, authors Amir Ali, PharmD, BCOP; Amin Khudari, PharmD candidate; Vincent Mendiola, MD; George Yaghmour, MD; Samantha Shi, PharmD, BCOP; Hien Tang, PharmD, BCOP; and Harry Shamamian, PharmD, MBA, FACHE, discuss the results of their research investigating the safety and efficacy of the University of Southern California (USC) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) induction regimen combined with newer tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for patients with Philadelphia chromosome–positive (PH+) ALL. Findings from the study, conducted at USC, indicate that using the USC ALL induction regimen with newer TKIs yields positive outcomes for patients with Ph+ ALL.

As the health care industry continues to evolve to address the needs of patients, the field of oncology research continues to be a hallmark of the industry, with oncology professionals steadfastly working to improve outcomes and quality of life for the whole patient.

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