International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners
Vol 17, No. 2 June 2015
Message from the President 
By Rowena (Moe) Schwartz, Pharm.D., BCOP

As an oncology pharmacist, one of the things I have learned over the years is that I need to be very responsive to change.  We work in a field that is constantly evolving - and we are often the member of the health care team that assures successful implementation of these advances for optimal patient care.  As a professional society ISOPP faces this same challenge/opportunity.  We must continually evaluate the evolution of oncology and oncology pharmacy practice, and find the best way to adapt the organization to meet the evolving needs of our membership.  We consider how best ISOPP can grow to meet the global needs of oncology pharmacy,  respond to changes in cancer care, recognize the diversity  across the world in oncology pharmacy and, ultimately how we effectively engage and partner with oncology pharmacists around the world.  As we celebrate ISOPP's 20 years of successful contributions to supporting the oncology pharmacist, we will also take some time to think about the future of the organization.  This August ISOPP will hold a strategic planning meeting with the ISOPP Secretariat and  leadership to  develop a plan for our future.


Important to the success of this planning are the members of ISOPP.  I hope you saw the recent email asking for your thoughts about planning for the future.  Thank you to those of you who have taken a few minutes to provide us with your ideas and opinions.  If you haven't had an opportunity to complete the survey - could you please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us now or within the next week.  Our goal is to have the survey results collated prior to the planning session - to ensure you are part of the process. 

Read more ...

Rowena (Moe) Schwartz
Oncology Around the World

CAPhO Report

By Tara Leslie BSP, BCOP

Clinical Assistant Professor, Experiential Education 
Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta

Clinical Pharmacist - Hematology/Oncology

Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Alberta, Canada

CAPhO Education Committee Chair

St. John's, Canada was the site of this year's annual conference hosted by the Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology (CAPhO).  Previously, this conference was known as the National Oncology Pharmacy Symposium or NOPS for short.  However, 2015 marked the first year of the meeting's new name; CAPhO Conference!


The conference started off with an informative talk from Dr. Bill Evans.  His review of the importance of smoking cessation in patients drove home the message that we must try harder to incorporate smoking cessation in our care plans.

The ever-engaging Carlo De Angelis provided an insightful presentation to assist us with "Understanding Drug Resistance Mechanisms of TKI's".   Further, Dr. De Angelis reminded us that TKI's have a therapeutic range and questioned the rationale of developing new TKI's before optimizing the use current ones.  


Read more ...

Chris Ralph provided some clinical pearls in his "Patient Tailored Approach to Cancer Pain Management" presentation.
Report on the HOPA 11th Annual Conference

By Evelyn Handel, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP

Clinical Pharmacist Specialist, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) recently held its 11th Annual Conference from Tuesday, March 25th to Saturday, March 28th in Austin, Texas. Each year, the conference focuses on covering emerging research and the latest developments in new treatment regimens, clinical updates on the treatment of various tumor types as well as supportive care issues, and common clinical or technological debates in the hematology/oncology setting. Over 700 pharmacists were in attendance this year and participated in a wide variety of presentations, poster sessions, and networking opportunities. 
HOPA Annual Conference attendees at the keynote session
JASPO 2015 Meeting Review 

By Shinya Suzuki, R.Ph.,M.S.,BCOP, JSPHCS-certified Oncology Pharmacist, Board Certified Pharmacist in Oncology Pharmacy (Japanese Society of Hospital Pharmacists), Ward Pharmacist / Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Pharmacy, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Japan


The Japanese Society of Pharmaceutical Oncology (JASPO) held its 3rd meeting in Kyoto in March 2015, and there were more than 2,000 attendees and about 200 oral and poster presentation abstracts during its two days conference. As a committee member of the JASPO, I held a symposium about how to conduct clinical practice research by pharmacists. And, my colleagues had three posters about benefits of the drug compatibility website, Stabilis, which I translated into Japanese last year. 

Read more ...
Shinya Suzuki and Dr. Donald Harvey at JASPO 2013 in Tokyo
Oncology Pharmacist Volunteer Opportunity
in Hue, Vietnam

By Thao K. Huynh, PharmD


I had the pleasure of volunteering for a week through Health Volunteer Overseas (HVO) with an interdisciplinary team of nine oncology practitioners across the globe in Hue, Vietnam in the fall of 2014. During this week, we worked as a group with American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Courses (MCMC) to increase the prevalence and coordination of tumor board. Education was the primary need of the site. I was able to provide a lecture on "Treatment of Metastatic ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer" to students and practitioners. I also collaborated with a nurse practitioner and together, we provided lectures to nurses on symptom management for: Extravasation, Pain, Fatigue, Nausea and Vomiting, Diarrhea, Mucositis, Myelosuppression, and many others. I also attended rounds on a few patients with a Vietnamese oncologist and a medical oncologist, specializing in breast cancer, from Romania.

In Hue, Vietnam, we toured Hue Central Hospital, a government owned hospital, and Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy. There was certainly a lack of space for the number of patients, often times with two to three patients sharing one bed. Any patient receiving chemotherapy was required to be admitted inpatient, as there is no outpatient services provided due to the limited staff. 

Read more ...

Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy

The Oncology Information System Mosaiq and the Illawarra Experience

By Vicki Wilmott, Senior Pharmacist - Oncology/Haematology, Illawarra Cancer Centre, Wollongong, Australia


In April 2014, I attended the ISOPP XIV symposium in Montreal, Canada with financial assistance in the form of a travel grant from ISOPP Australasia. I had two poster presentations accepted for the symposium, one of which was titled "Medication Incident Reduction at the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre". This poster outlined how the introduction of an Oncology Information System (OIS) resulted in a reduction of medication incidents at our centre. The information incorporated in the poster was originally presented as a quality project in the 2012 New South Wales Health Awards taking out the Cancer Services Award for Excellence in the Provision of Cancer Services.


The Illawarra Cancer Care Centre (ICCC) is located in Wollongong, a major coastal city south of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. Our centre opened in 1991 after a massive fundraising effort by the local community so that patients could receive treatment closer to home and started with one linear accelerator and a handful of chemotherapy treatment spaces. The service has now grown to 3 linear accelerators and 14 chemotherapy treatment spaces at Wollongong, a new centre in Nowra with 1 linear accelerator and 6 chemotherapy treatment spaces and a chemotherapy treatment centre at Milton Ulladulla (6 treatment spaces). The number of inpatient beds has also increased, as well as research and clinical trial activity. This growth has been accompanied by growth in the complexity of chemotherapy regimens, as many of us who have worked in oncology for many years know.


Read more ...

The Illawarra Cancer Care Centre (ICCC)

An Interview with ISOPP's Founder, Helen M. McKinnon

As recorded by Terri G. Davidson, PharmD 


Helen, you were the founder and originator of ISOPP. Tell me why and how the organization found its roots? What was your vision/dream those many years ago?


            First a wee bit of background, Terri. In 1985, I was the only pharmacist in New Zealand (NZ) who specialized in Oncology Pharmacy, which meant there was no other pharmacist in the country who I could discuss practical and theoretical concerns with. So a year later, I set off on a study tour to meet pharmacists in the United Kingdom and the United States who practiced in various hospitals specializing in cancer treatment. I wanted to meet colleagues with whom I could share my concerns and find answers to my questions. By the end of my tour, I was overwhelmed with the camaraderie and willingness of the oncology pharmacists I met to share their knowledge and practices with me. I returned home with a dream of bringing these and other oncology pharmacists together to share their knowledge. My ultimate dream was of greatly improved care for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, but the dream didn't tell me how to go about making this happen!! After much thought and with the help of a small working group, my dream was realized in 1988 when the first International Symposium for Oncology Pharmacists was held in Rotorua, NZ. At the close of that inaugural meeting, I threw out a challenge for someone there to organize another symposium in 2 years. This challenge was taken up by Graham Sewell (UK) and it was from this beginning that the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP) grew.



Read more ...

Helen McKinnon, 
ISOPP 1988

HOPA 2015 in Austin, Texas

By Shinya Suzuki, R.Ph.,M.S.,BCOP, JSPHCS-certified Oncology Pharmacist, Board Certified Pharmacist in Oncology Pharmacy (Japanese Society of Hospital Pharmacists), Ward Pharmacist / Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Pharmacy, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Japan


From March 25th to 28th 2015, the annual conference of the Hematology and Oncology Pharmacy Association was held in Austin, Texas, USA. As a matter of fact, I had the opportunity to have a presentation at the 9th annual HOPA conference, however, I could not attend the conference due to a horrible earthquake in Japan on March 11th, 2011. At that time, one of the past presidents of HOPA, Philip E Johnson, kindly displayed my poster during the conference. 


So, it was important and impressive for me to attend the conference this year. During the annual HOPA conference, I want to give thanks to the ISOPP, especially to current ISOPP president, Dr. Rowena (Moe) Schwartz, Dr. Donald Harvey, and Dr. Steve Stricker who were very friendly and helpful to me during the conference. I also had the opportunity to see the president of the European Society of Oncology Pharmacy (ESOP), Klaus Meier. I was very happy that the current HOPA president, Dr.Scott Soetje, and the past president Dr.Michael Vozniak warmly accepted me, a Japanese pharmacist. I also saw Dr. Nelly E Adel, who invited me and my colleagues to the trainee program at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center last year. Moreover, I could talk with Professor Joseph Bubalo, who was an author of a paper which I was just reading in the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice!!! It was great time for me.  


Read more ...

Shinya Suzuki with current HOPA president Dr. Scott Soetje

ISOPP Business and News

Strategic Plan Survey


As previously mentioned, we would like you to take a few minutes to provide your thoughts through a CONFIDENTIAL strategic planning survey of our members and business partners. The objective of the survey is to assure that the development of an ISOPP future vision is consistent with the priorities of the membership, for the delivery of member benefits and opportunities.


Complete the survey by CLICKING THIS LINKThe survey should take less than ten minutes to complete and results will be received and compiled by our strategic planning consultant, Bandwidth Management.


We would like to request your support by completing this survey by July 24th.

Visit the ISOPP's Future page to be kept up to date on additional information.

Celebrate ISOPP 
A reminder to share your ISOPP memories with other oncology pharmacists around the world as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ISOPP. 
Share your photos of ISOPP events and activities over the years gone by with us! 

Submit your photographs by following these easy steps:

1. Rename your photos before you upload them to describe the picture, and provide some information about the when and who is in the photo.

3. Click on "Browse" to locate the image on your desktop.

4. Click on "Upload/Open". When the file is uploaded, you will see its filename and size.

5. To view your uploaded photos in the gallery click "Done" in the top right corner. (It may take a few minutes for your photographs to appear).

6. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the upload by emailing [email protected] 

ISOPP 2016 in Santiago 

The Scientific Program Committee (SPC), made up of oncology pharmacy experts from around the world, is working on the program and the online abstract submission site. Watch for updates in the coming weeks, as program, abstract submission and registration details become available.  In the meantime, below are some key dates to assist with planning.


Online Abstract Submission Opens: August 2015
Abstract Submission Deadline: Monday, November 16, 2015
Acceptance Notification: Week of December 7, 2015


Online Registration Opens: September 2015
Early Bird Registration Deadline: Monday, January 18, 2016
Online Registration Closes: Monday, April 4, 2016

Also, read how to reserve your 
 accommodation, how to become a sponsor or exhibitor, and make plans now to visit Santiago, Chile in April 2016.


Continue to visit the ISOPP 2016 website for Symposium updates and inform your friends and colleagues who may be interested in what ISOPP 2016 has to offer.

ISOPP 2016 Travel Grants

ISOPP is pleased to offer the International Travel Grants Program to attend ISOPP 2016 in Santiago, Chile from April 17th to 20th, 2016.


Up to FIVE travel grants of €1250 Euro each are available for members who have paid their 2016 membership fees.


To find out more on how to submit an application visit the Travel Grants page of the ISOPP 2016 website.

The deadline for submitting an application is January 12, 2016.

Virtual Journal Club   

ISOPP's Virtual Journal Club features online articles from the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice (JOPP). Members are encouraged to read articles and then answer a series of multiple choice questions through the Virtual Journal Club Surveys


Click here for the latest edition.


After completing the questionnaire, a certificate will be emailed to you. Although not formally accredited for continuing medical education (CME) points, participation is equal to one hour of CME activity.  


Members are also encouraged to use the Member Discussion Forum to stimulate discussion about articles they have read. Your ISOPP membership provides many great benefits and we are hopeful you will find the Virtual Journal Club another asset to your oncology pharmacy practice.



Felice Musicco

Publications Chair

[email protected]


ISOPP Sponsored Membership Program
The Sponsored Membership Program exists to support members who, given their personal or regional financial situations, may not be able to become an ISOPP member or continue their ISOPP membership.
Thanks to the generosity of members who have made additional payments, there is a pool of money to help support others in the field of oncology pharmacy pay membership fees.   Do you know someone who would like to join ISOPP?   Email [email protected]. Read more on the program.
2015 Election Results 

Thank you to all of the ISOPP members who voted in this year's election and special thanks to all of the members who stepped forward and submitted nominations for this year's positions of Secretary and two General Secretariat members.


The result of this year's vote is as follows:


Secretary:  John Wiernikowski


General Secretariat Members: Evelyn Handel and Shaun O'Connor


The 2015 Secretariat includes (newly elected members in bold):


Rowena Schwartz (USA)


Harbans Dhillon (Malaysia)


John Wiernikowski (Canada)


Johan Vandenbroucke (Belgium)


Tiene Bauters (Belgium) 


Evelyn Handel (USA)


Anantha Naik Naik Nagappa (India)


Shaun O'Connor (Australia)


Congratulations to the winners. To those not elected and to all ISOPP members, this is a reminder that you can participate in the activities of ISOPP through one of ISOPP's Committees, which includes Education, Standards, Membership/Finance, Publications and Research, and Task Force Committees.

Harbans Dhillon
ISOPP President Elect
ISOPP Nomination Committee Chair
ISOPP's Society &
Symposium Management Office


Sea to Sky Meeting Management is ISOPP's Society and 2016 & 2017 Symposium Management Office. If you have any questions about membership, services, ISOPP 2016, ISOPP 2017 or the Society, please contact the ISOPP Office directly as follows:
Direct: +1-778-338-4142
Fax: +1-604-984-6434
Suite 206, 201 Bewicke Avenue

North Vancouver, BC Canada V7M 3M7 

In This Issue
Quick Links

Newsletter Summary
This Newsletter Summary provides a brief introduction/summary to each article. In order to access the full article, login to the website then click on the 'read more' button at the end of each article's introduction. In addition, at the end of each full article there is the opportunity for you to write comments about the article and start up a discussion forum.

Calendar of Events
Submit an Article

Contact Jill Davis, Newsletter Editor at [email protected]
to submit an article.
Member Business

Thank you for being an ISOPP member.

ISOPP exists to develop, improve and support the practice of oncology pharmacy for the benefit of cancer patients around the world. Membership comes with a great range of benefits. Review your membership benefits and take a moment to ensure you are making the most of being an ISOPP member.
Call for Volunteers

Call for Volunteers for ISOPP's Standing Committees - Are you interested in being involved in ISOPP directly? Find out more ...