International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners
Vol 17, No. 3 September 2015

Since we have changed the format of the newsletter into a completely electronic version, it has been noted that it is difficult for contributors to share their published articles with colleagues. We can now offer to convert any submission into a pdf acknowledging that this is an ISOPP newsletter article and stating the volume number and date. This can then be shared on-line or with work colleagues or printed for your own records. Simply request this service by emailing [email protected]. If your submission has already been published in an earlier edition of the on-line newsletter, you can still make the request.

I hope you find this service useful.


Jill Davis
ISOPP Newsletter Editor
Jill Davis
Message from the President 
By Rowena (Moe) Schwartz, Pharm.D., BCOP

Celebrating ISOPP's History with a Focus to the Future

I spent this August focused on ISOPP, and it was wonderful. I traveled to Melbourne, Australia to participate in the ISOPP Australasian Symposium, and was able to spend time with some of the people that are responsible for ISOPP and the success of the organization. A few weeks later, I met with members of the ISOPP Secretariat and Committee/Task Force leadership to plan for the future of ISOPP during a two day ISOPP strategic planning meeting in Vancouver. It was incredible to find that both meetings demonstrated the importance of ISOPP's history and the richness of our future. Both meetings included ISOPP members from across the globe dedicated to oncology pharmacy; people that have provided leadership to ISOPP and people who will lead the organization into the future. I want to update you about both of these meetings, and invite you to participate in upcoming ISOPP initiatives and meetings.

The strategic planning group in Vancouver, Canada. From left to right: Sarah Lowis, Tiene Bauters, Evelyn Handel, Alex Chan, Judith Smith, John Wiernikowski, Jill Davis, Shaun O'Connor, Steve Stricker, Moe Schwartz, Harbans Dhillon, Anantha Naik Nagappa, Bruce McMillan

Rowena Scwartz
OncologyOncology Around the World

ANZCAAustralian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) 2015
By Janelle Penno, Pre-Anaesthetic Clinic Pharmacist Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Pain Medicine held their Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide, Australia in May 2015. This is one of the key meetings held each year for Anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand with over 1300 delegates in attendance. The role of pharmacists within anaesthesia in Australia is currently limited but growing, with roles in pre-admission clinics, theatres and perioperative care being undertaken. As such, the representation of pharmacists, and even non-medical practitioners, was very limited. This year I was able to attend the ANZCA ASM as an educational opportunity and had presented a poster on the evaluation of my role in our Pre-Anaesthetic Clinic.

The care of cancer patients in anaesthesia is a growing area of interest for anaesthetists with the increasing burden of cancer within our population there is a push for a new specialty of onco-anaesthesiology. In response to this, over the last 2 years, the ANZCA ASM has held multiple concurrent sessions focusing on Anaesthesia and the Cancer Patient. 

Janelle Penno at the
ISOPP Symposium 2014 in  Montreal, Canada 
ASCO1ASCO 2015 Highlights I
By Joe Bubalo, Pharm D, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
The annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) took place from May 29 - June 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois in the USA.  This meeting, of over 30,000 attendees, provides a wide variety of educational opportunities.   Many presentations highlighted reviews of therapeutics, new quality and economic issues, and product specific research for compounds in various stages of the drug approval process.  My focus for the meeting continues to be on patient care topics and new information on the dosing, side effect management, or therapeutic use of pharmaceutical or supportive care agents with the goal to take away information that can be integrated into current practice as well as to learn new trends and upcoming products for the coming year.  This year there was also focus on the quality and value of cancer care as well as the high cost of pharmaceuticals.  I will not be reporting on these topics but if you are looking for this information please review the programming from the meeting as many of the slide sets are available via the virtual meeting (subscription required).   

Joe Bubalo
ASCO2ASCO 2015 Highlights II 
By Michael Powell B.Pharm, DipPharmPrac, MSHP, Pharmacist Advanced - Cancer and Blood Disorders, Gold Coast University Hospital, Queensland, Australia

ASCO 2015 Highlights: View from an Australian Oncology Pharmacist.

I attended the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, USA from May 29 to June 2, 2015. The theme of this year's meeting was "Illumination and Innovation: Transforming Data into Learning" and from the outset it was evident that the cutting edge data presented would be both illuminating and innovative. Having attended my first ASCO in 2001 it still seems amazing to me how far the treatment of cancer has come. Certainly there have been very few plenary sessions including breakthrough therapies for the management of advanced melanoma, for example.

My focus this year was on attending as many of the key immunotherapy sessions as small task when you are navigating quickly between sessions along with approximately 30,000 other attendees across a massive venue like McCormick Place!
Attendees at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, held at McCormick Place
MASCCMASCC 2015 Annual 
Meeting Report
By Alex Chan, National University of Singapore, Singapore

The 2015 Annual Meeting of MASCC/ISOO took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 25-27. Meeting Chair Jørn Herrstedt and the Scientific Committee put together an exciting program of presentations, workshops, discussions, and debates on treatments and techniques for minimizing treatment-induced side effects, as well as on the psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions of cancer diagnosis and treatment. The meeting included three plenary sessions, five in-depth workshops, a wide range of parallel sessions, pro-and-con debates, and opportunities to challenge the experts. The meeting also featured joint sessions with the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), and the Danish Professional Society for Cancer Nurses (FSK). A total of 960 abstracts were submitted this year, of which about 800 were selected for either oral or poster presentation.

Alex receiving his award from Professor David Warr, the President of MASCC

AustralasianReport on the ISOPP 2015 Australasian Symposium
By Kimberley-Ann Kerr, BPharm (Hons), Specialist clinical pharmacist - oncology, Lyell McEwin Hospital, Adelaide, Australia
The ISOPP 2015 Australasian Symposium was held in Melbourne, Australia, from the 15th - 16th September. The Australasian Symposium is held on the alternate year to the international symposium, and provides an excellent opportunity for pharmacists in the Australasian region to gain continuing education in topical areas and network with other oncology pharmacists.

The symposium started with a presentation on check point inhibitors (PD1 inhibitors) which was incredibly interesting and topical given pembrolizumab will be made available on the PBS as of 1st September. The difference between CTLA-4 and PD-1 was explained, and management of immune related adverse effects was reviewed. As these drugs are a new class, medical staff working in areas of medicine that are not oncology often do not know how to manage these adverse effects, which highlights the need for education not only of the patient, but of other health professionals.

NIOSH2014 Updates and Changes to the NIOSH Hazardous Drug List
By Thomas H. Connor, PhD, Research Biologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Since 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH-U.S.) has updated its list of hazardous drugs every two years.  The most recent update to the list was published in late 2014.  The 2014 update initially reviewed approximately 250 potentially hazardous drugs.  Following the review process, 27 new drugs were added to the list (see table in full article) (Tables 1-3  Of these, five already had safe handling recommendations from the manufacturer which are automatically listed by NIOSH as hazardous drugs.  The new additions met one or more of the NIOSH criteria for a hazardous drug.  Until recently, the handling information in the drug package insert has included references to ASHP (2006) Oncology Nursing Society (2011); OSHA (1999); and NIOSH (2004), but recently they only include a link to the OSHA website that links to the NIOSH website on hazardous drugs (
In addition to the new drugs listed for 2014, 11 drugs were removed from the original 2004 list based on their evaluation according to the NIOSH criteria and  one other drug, tetracycline, was removed from the list based on stakeholder feedback and revaluation (Tables 4a and 4b,

Thomas H. Connor
CelebrateCelebrating 20 years of ISOPP

AnnemeriInterview with Annemeri Livinalli, Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacêuticos em Oncologia, Sao Paulo, Brazil  
By Tiene Bauters, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
Tiene: How and when did you come in contact with the organization?

Annemeri: The first time I heard of ISOPP was in 2006 during the Congress of SOBRAFO (Brazilian Society of Oncology Pharmacist). John Wiernikowski was a speaker and talked about the society. After the meeting, I made contact with John since he, like me, worked in a pediatric setting. For several months, he was my mentor and in late 2006 he presented me with a membership to the society. I learned a lot from John. During 2007, I visited the society's website daily. Since I am often online, a few members have made contact with me through the chat room of the website. In this way, I met Carole Chambers, Jill Davis, Felice Musicco, Kim Stefaniuk, and others. It was a great opportunity to begin a network that continues to build to this day.
Tiene: Why were you impressed by the organization?

Annemeri Livinalli speaking on a panel at a recent oncology conference in Brasil
JohanInterview with Johan Vandenbroucke, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent Belgium
By Tiene Bauters, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
Tiene: How and when did you come in contact with the organization?          
Johan: My first contact with ISOPP was in 1995, the year I attended the ISOPP IV congress in Hamburg, Germany. As part of my daily work activities, I had become more and more involved in the preparation of cytotoxic drugs (an activity that was previously the exclusive domain of the nursing staff). Seeing the location of the congress was within Europe and the available budgets at the time, it was for me as young pharmacist a unique chance to meet colleagues who were much more experienced than I in that field and to learn from them. 

Tiene: Why were you impressed by the organization?
Johan: I was impressed by the open communication, the willingness to share knowledge, ideas and practices and the global representation amongst the participants. Both the scientific but also the social programming enabled me to join and expand a network which was the start of a great experience.

It also encouraged me to become more involved as an oncology pharmacist on a national level and I became a co-founder of the BOPP: Belgian Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (which holds an annual congress)  

Johan Vandenbroucke
CaroleInterview with Carole Chambers, AHS Pharmacy - Director Cancer Services, Tom Baker Cancer Clinic Pharmacy, Calgary, Alberta Canada
By John Wiernikowski, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Tell us why you joined ISOPP, and why [ultimately] you chose to run for the position of President?
Initially, I was recruited to be part of a national working group to bring an international oncology pharmacy meeting to Canada.  There had been an initial one in New Zealand with a follow-up one in England.  Rosemary Bacovsky had been to both of these, and she approached me to help bring the third one to Canada.  Working between 1991 to1993 for that third meeting in April, 1993 in Toronto had me hooked. So, I really joined ISOPP before it even came into being an official society.  I embraced the opportunities ISOPP brought to my practice and organized many meetings with oncology pharmacists in places I travelled to, enjoyed serving on the education committee for most of my time and decided to become more actively involved in the secretariat.  I believe I tried at least two times for a general secretariat position, but there were so many excellent candidates that it was never quite my time.  I was also working a lot with the Institute of Safe Medication Practice (ISMP-Canada) and in those discussions saw a potential window for a medication safety self-assessment to be created in Oncology.  The timing looked excellent, so I had a vision or platform on which to offer my run for President - third time, I decided it was go big or go home. I was fortunate to be successful in that bid for presidency and did follow through on my election platform. 

Carole Chambers (ISOPP 2010 Chair) presenting an Achievement Award to Johan Vandenbroucke
newsISOPP Business and News

StrategicStrategic Plan Update   

Read all about ISOPP's Strategic Planning progress in Moe Schwartz's President's message. 

ISOPPRegister Now

Register now
for the XV International Symposium on Oncology Pharmacy Practice (ISOPP 2016), taking place from April 17th to 20th at the Sheraton Santiago Hotel in Santiago, Chile.

Symposium Theme: Oncology Pharmacy Practice: a Global Perspective

Oncology practice is changing day by day, and the role of oncology pharmacists continues to grow and evolve.

This makes ISOPP's role as a leading voice for pharmacists who care for patients with cancer ever more important. In conjunction with its 20th anniversary in 2016, ISOPP will once again engage global leaders in oncology pharmacy to find practical solutions that improve patient care. The 2016 Symposium will provide oncology pharmacy professionals with essential updates to enhance their work and examples of best practice from around the world.

The Scientific Program Committee (SPC), made up of oncology pharmacy experts from around the world, is finalizing the program. View the program at a glance on the ISOPP 2016 website.

Submit an Abstract       

Submit your abstract(s) online by
Monday, November 16th at midnight UTC. The abstract submission information and guidelines can be viewed on the 

ISOPP 2016 Travel Grants

ISOPP offers the International Travel Grants Program providing financial assistant to cover the cost of attending 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 18th, 2016.
VJCVirtual Journal Club   

The most recent Virtual Journal Club Survey is available on the ISOPP Website. Access the twenty-first issue of the VJC by following the direct link.
"Multiple myeloma maintenance therapy: A review of the pharmacologic treatment"

Published online before print January 6, 2014
Learning Objectives:
  • Incorporate available and emerging maintenance treatment options into personalized therapeutic strategies for patients with multiple myeloma
  • Manage adverse effects and safety issues associated with the treatment of multiple myeloma, including educating patients about symptoms to monitor and report
  • Provide appropriate care and counsel for multiple myeloma patients and their families
Previous issues
The twentieth issue can be accessed by following direct link.

"Medication adherence among adults prescribed imatinib, dasatinib, or nilotinib for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia"
Learning Objectives:
  • Assess adherence in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) patients
  • Identify patients at risk for poor adherence to imatinib, dasatinib, or nilotinib
  • Improve adherence in CML patient population
  • Reliably measure determinants of non/adherent behaviour
  • Improve the current level of knowledge regarding patient adherence and self-administered medications
The nineteenth issue can be accessed by following the  direct link.
"Does applying technology throughout the medication process improve patient safety with antineoplastics?"
Learning Objectives:
  • Describe their advantages and disadvantages of current and upcoming technologies with regard to effects on the safety of the chemotherapy process
  • Review the of pharmacy informatics on the use of technology in pharmacy systems
  • Evaluate the barriers to technology use in current systems. 
As a reminder, 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
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
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 ... 
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 

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? 

Read more on the program.

Celebrate ISOPP
A reminder to share your ISOPP memories with other oncology pharmacists around the world as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary is 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 when it was taken and who is in the photo.

2. Click here to upload a 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).

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

CAPhO's ISOPP Symposium 
Travel Grant

There are two (2) $3,000 grants available to assist CAPhO members in attending ISOPP XV in Santiago, Chile in April 2016. 


To read the requirements and how to apply, visit the CAPhO awards and travel grants page.


Application deadline: December 7, 2015

ISOPP Australasian Region Travel Grants
A number of grants are available to assist ISOPP members in the Australasian Region in attending ISOPP XV in Santiago, Chile in April 2016.
Eligibility: this grant is open toall Australasian ISOPP members
Note: Members who have full funding from another source cannot apply for this grant.

To read the requirements and download an application form, visit the ISOPP 2016 website.

Application deadline: December 18, 2015