Treating Hematologic Cancers With Evolving Therapies, Health Challenges

Pharmacy Practice in Focus: OncologyApril 2021
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages: 4

We’re focusing on hematologic cancer news this month, while also keeping coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the forefront of oncology pharmacy.

Scientific innovations and medical advancements are leading to promising new treatments for many types of cancer, as the challenges for patients and pharmacists continue to evolve.

We’re focusing on hematologic cancer news this month, while also keeping coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the forefront of oncology pharmacy. Because of the ongoing pandemic and the propensity for potential high-risk complications for patients with cancer, COVID-19 remains an important topic in cancer care.

Editor in Chief Dan Steiber, RPh, leads the issue on page 6 with a discussion on the role of hematology-oncology pharmacists. In his editor’s note, Steiber addresses the day-to-day function of hematology-oncology pharmacists, as well as the education they provide to patients and caregivers and the role they serve in drug research.

In our cover story on page 60, Jerry A. Barbee Jr, PharmD, BCPS, CPh; Glenn Schulman, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCACP, BCGP, BCIDP; and PharmD candidates Chance G. Partlow and Caitlin M. Sacco write about the management of hematologic cancer therapies with a reduction of COVID-19 risk to patients. The authors consider strategies for minimizing the risk of viral exposure in patients who are undergoing treatment for various types of lymphomas, leukemias, and myelomas. They also weigh treatment options for patients who have a diagnosis of both cancer and COVID-19.

In the Patient Consultation section on page 64, author Jill Drury, PharmD, discusses the benefits of brown bag sessions and presents a new hypothetical case study. A patient comes to the pharmacy for COVID-19 vaccination and shares with a pharmacist some troubling symptoms as well as his medication profile.

The multiple myeloma pipeline is the subject of an article on page 16 by Keith Wellman, PharmD, BCPS, MBA. Wellman discusses potential new and innovative therapies that are garnering optimism. Among the investigational drugs are chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies, and other treatment options.

Multiple myeloma is also the subject of a recent Pharmacy Times® Peer Exchange series. Experts discussed the current landscape and the management of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, including the latest data and potential treatment strategies on the horizon, during this video series. The highlight of the discussion is featured in this issue of Directions in Oncology Pharmacy® on page 51.

Although we are highlighting hematology-oncology pharmacy this month, the issue also includes news on colorectal, breast, lung, and other cancers.

Thank you for reading.

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