International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners
Vol 18, No. 1 March 2016

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2016. This edition contains articles from authors from Australia, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, UK, and USA. Many thanks to these authors for their contributions which showcase oncology pharmacy practice from around the world. Please also take a moment to think how YOU could contribute in this way. Don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. As a reminder, if you are a contributor and would like a pdf of your article acknowledging it as a newsletter contribution simply email me as above. Finally, I hope to catch up with as many members as possible at the upcoming ISOPP XV meeting in Santiago, Chile. Until then, stay safe.      


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

I admit this is my third version of these remarks.  I wrote the initial draft traveling to the HOPA meeting last week. I revised that version (really, just re-wrote) traveling home from HOPA.  Even with the edits, I didn't feel like I was capturing what I wanted to say.  This final version was done following an early morning meeting with Harbans Dhillon (ISOPP President-Elect) and Sarah Lowis (Sea to Sky).  I have struggled with this message, as it seems to reflect both the optimism and concern I have for ISOPP.  Maybe that is appropriate?

ISOPP continues to mature as an organization. Twenty years ago this organization was built by dedicated and committed oncology pharmacists from across the world.  Many of the most successful components (e.g. ISOPP Newsletter, ISOPP Website) that support ISOPP today are built from work of past leadership and membership.  The continued success of these efforts is due to the members and leaders that have advanced the initial ISOPP foundation over the last 20 years.  The Secretariat and ISOPP leadership have spent the last year taking a look at the organization, and have developed a plan to build for the future.  The ISOPP Strategic Plan that will be presented at ISOPP XV in Chile, and subsequently shared with membership on the ISOPP Website and in the ISOPP Newsletter. The Strategic Plan is built upon the foundation established 20 years ago, and allows for further evolution of the organization to best address the current needs for oncology pharmacists.  As cancer care and oncology pharmacy care evolves worldwide, so must this organization.  

Rowena (Moe) Schwartz
OncologyOncology Around the World

ACTAACTA 2015 International Clinical Trials Symposium
By Carol Rice, Senior Clinical Trials Pharmacist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia 
I had the privilege of attending the inaugural Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) International Clinical Trials Symposium in Sydney, Australia on 7 - 10 October 2015.

ACTA was formed in 2014 as a national advisory body to advance the interests of clinical trials networks, clinical trial co-ordinating centres and clinical quality registries across discipline and disease boundaries.

The theme of the Symposium was Better Evidence, Better Health and the program included speakers from research and clinical backgrounds as well as public health specialists, policy makers, health economists and industry professionals. A strong panel of international speakers included Professor Donald Berry, Professor of Biostatistics at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre USA, Dr Joe Selby Executive Director of Patient Centred Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) USA, Professor Tom Walley, Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) UK, Professor Richard Horton, Editor in Chief of The Lancet and Ms Susan Marlin, President and CEO Clinical Trials Ontario, Canada. 

Carol Rice
SouthAfricaNews from South Africa
By Carien van der Merwe, Oncology Pharmacist, Wits Health Consortium, Johannesburg, South Africa

Oncology pharmacy is not recognised as a speciality profession in South Africa, therefore is very under resourced with trained oncology pharmacists. There are currently no professional academic courses in this field and most pharmacists have picked up their skills by work experience and by attending educational meetings and conferences. The objective of having international experts at key local meetings is to further develop these skills and also to encourage more pharmacists to take on this speciality.

It was a great honour to have Mr Klaus Meier from ESOP (European Society of Oncology Pharmacy) as a guest speaker at our 17th National Congress of the South African Society of Medical Oncology (SASMO) and South African Society of Clinical and Radiation Oncology (SASCRO) on 9 August 2015 in Cape Town.  This platform allowed oncology pharmacists to engage, share and grow their knowledge in this specialised field. Mr Klaus Meier shared his experiences and best practice with the group. The group had a few key take home messages, especially around compliance with oral medication, which is often not a focus of attention, and also on the importance of aseptic techniques. ESOP had an exhibition stand providing pharmacists with must needed information and standards to assist with increasing compliance within the industry according to international practice.

Carolin Meirer and Hannah Meier at the ESOP stand
BOPABOPA Symposium 2015 Telford Meeting Report
By Bruce Burnett BSc (Hons), MRPharmS, MMedSci, Teacher Practitioner in Clinical Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy Department, University of Wolverhampton, UK

The 2015 symposium was held in Telford, Shropshire at the International Conference Centre. There were 400 delegates and for the first time there was an "Introduction to Oncology" day on the day before the meeting took place. I was fortunate enough to meet some of our "new to oncology" pharmacy staff during the intensive day.

The meeting proper started on the Friday and began with a debate, or at least a planned debate. As it turned out the two presenters, David Thomson, Chemotherapy Pharmacist Specialised Services (South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw), NHS England and National Cancer Drug Fund Pharmacist & Professor David Dodwell, Consultant in Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre/ Institute of Oncology, St James's University Hospital, actually agreed on a position. The discussion centred around the use of the SACT data set, collected by all NHS hospitals, collecting data on both chemotherapy administration and outcome, including toxicity, data. Both agreed that the data was not ideal and that there were concerns about the data quality.

Bruce Burnett
BCOncology Around the World
British Columbia, Canada: Embracing Change
By Lynne Nakashima BSc(Pharm), PharmD, Provincial Pharmacy Director, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada

In British Columbia, Canada, we have a provincial system of providing cancer care to patients.  This care is coordinated by the B.C. Cancer Agency (BCCA) in cooperation with the communities' oncology network hospitals.  There are 6 BCCA centres, the only locations within the province where a patient can receive radiation therapy, and where systemic therapy is provided.  Approximately 50% of systemic therapy treatments are provided within the BCCA and 50% in the hospitals participating in the communities' oncology network.
This past year has been a year of change for the BCCA, as we have started the new year with a new pharmacy structure.  Susan Walisser retired as the Provincial Pharmacy Leader at the end of February, and with her retirement, came change.  Previously, the Pharmacies reported through their regional programs, but now, Pharmacy reports through a provincial structure to the Pharmacy Director.  While still maintaining our close linkages within the centres, the provincial structure enables us to capitalize on shared strengths, consistency and provincial standards of practice.  We also welcomed new Professional Practice Leaders in Abbotsford (Sylvie Labelle-Stimac), Kelowna (Randy Goncalves) and Vancouver Island (Kimberly Kuik).

Lynne Nakashima

NZWNZW-Hamburg 2016
By Lisa Holle, PharmD, BCOP, Assistant Clinical Professor, UConn School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Storrs, USA

The 24th NZW-Hamburg conference was held on January 29-31, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. NZW-Hamburg was a combined meeting of the local Hamburg pharmacy association (Apothekerkammer Hamburg), the German Society for Oncology Pharmacy (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Onkologische Pharmazie [DGOP]) and the European Society of Oncology Pharmacy (ESOP). The conference was attended by over 1000 oncology pharmacists, physicians, and researchers from around the world, and introduced a new format, which included concurrent sessions on a wide variety of topics ranging from oncology preparation to disease state management to scientific writing and publishing. Some of the highlights of the scientific meeting are included here.

Lisa Holle presenting the Ins and Outs of Disposing Oral Chemotherapy

BOPPreportReport of the BOPP Days
By Karen Vermis, Pharm.D., PhD, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium

The Belgian oncology pharmacists society held their 9th yearly 2-day conference in February. Again, a varying programme had been prepared by the Scientific Committee.

Prof. Schots (University Hospital Brussels) discussed prognostic scores (which can be easily calculated via the internet), pathology and treatment with 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) of chronic myeloid leukemia, a perfect model for targeted therapy. Although survival is excellent at 90 %, the outcome can be compromised by intolerance, poor adherence and resistance to these oral medications. Mutations within the tyrosine kinase require patient pre-screening and this is leading to personalized therapy and precision medicine.

Karen Vermis

newsISOPP Business and News

ISOPP16ISOPP 2016 Symposium
Are you considering participating in the XV International Symposium on Oncology Pharmacy Practice (ISOPP 2016), being held April 17-20 in Santiago, Chile? There is still time to register and check out the discounted rates for allied health professionals, students and South Americans.

As a registrant of ISOPP 2016, you are invited to attend three highly informative lunch sessions produced by the Palladium Sponsors. Pre-registration is required. Click on the links for more information on each symposium.

Satellite symposia are open to ISOPP 2016 attendees. Register now and pre-register for the lunch sessions during the registration process. If you have already registered, log back in to your registration to select your sessions.

Spread the word using #ISOPP2016 and please forward this notice to your friends and colleagues who may be interested in what ISOPP 2016 has to offer.


Elections2016 ISOPP Elections
On behalf of the ISOPP Nominating Committee, it is my pleasure to introduce the slate of candidates for this year's ISOPP Election.

There are three candidates for the President-Elect position, one candidate for the  Treasurer position and seven candidates for two   General Secretariat Member positions.

There is a photo of each candidate, and a letter of intent that each candidate provided, categorized according to election position, and listed in alphabetically order. 

The terms of Rowena Schwartz (President), Harbans Dhillon (President-Elect), Johan Vandenbroucke (Treasurer), Tiene Bauters (General Secretariat member) and Anantha Naik Nagappa (General Secretariat member) are expiring.  Harbans Dhillon moves into the position of President.  Shaun O'Connor has put his name forward for the Treasurer position making available the third General Secretariat member position.

Members were sent a personalized email containing information on how to vote on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. If you did not receive the email, please contact the Society Management Office via email at [email protected]

I encourage you to read all of the candidate's letters and to vote by the deadline of Thursday, March 31, 2106 at midnight GMT.

Harbans Dhillon
ISOPP President Elect
ISOPP Nomination Committee Chair
RenewalMembership Renewal  
A reminder that it is time to renew your International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP) membership. You need to be a member in order to vote in the upcoming elections and to continue receiving a copy of the Journal.

Renewal is easy.  A renewal notice was sent to your email with the subject line: "ISOPP 2016 Membership Renewal". This email contains your personalized links for membership renewal.

If you did not receive the email or are not able to find it now, please contact Glenda Freeman.  Glenda can facilitate resending a personalized link or answer any questions via telephone at +1-778-338-4142 or via email at [email protected]
VJCVirtual Journal Club   
The twenty-fifth issue of the Virtual Journal Club (VJC) is available on the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP) website. To access it, visit the Virtual Journal Club Surveys page or follow the  direct link to the survey. 

"A review of blinatumomab, a novel immunotherapy."
Matthew J Newman
Dina J Benani

Learning Objectives:
  • Become familiar with the detailed preparation and administration procedures required for the safe use of blinatumomab;
  • Update and improve current knowledge regarding, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and therapeutic use of blinatumomab;
  • Become aware of and identify patients at risk of adverse effects related to blinatumomab which may be life-threatening and require diligent monitoring; and 
  • Improve the current level of knowledge regarding any clinical controversies and off-label uses of blinatumomab.
Previous issue: Twenty-fourth issue

"Effects of gender on capecitabine toxicity in colorectal cancer."
Alastair I Ilich
Melanie Danilak
Christina A Kim
Karen E Mulder
Jennifer L Spratlin
Sunita Ghosh
Carole R Chambers
Michael B Sawyer
Learning Objectives:
  • Determine whether female colorectal cancer patients experienced a higher incidence of dose-limiting toxicity than men when treated with adjuvant capecitabine;
  • Improve the current level of knowledge regarding capecitabine optimal dosing and toxicity;
  • Reliably measure determinants that place individuals at risk of capecitabine toxicity; and
  • Identify patients at risk of toxicity with capecitabine
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
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.

AGM Notice and Agenda
ISOPP's 2016 AGM will take place on Tuesday, April 19 from 11:30 to 13:00 at the Sheraton Santiago Hotel and Convention Center in Santiago, Chile.  

JOPP Reviewers Needed

Submissions to JOPP, ISOPP's official journal, have increased dramatically over the last few years. As a result, we need additional reviewers to keep the review and decision times as short as possible.

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for JOPP, please send your curriculum vitae to Barry Goldspiel at [email protected].
ISOPP 2016 
Social Events
"Explore ISOPP Opportunities" Reception
Tuesday, April 19, 17:45-18:30 Sheraton Santiago

ISOPP members and colleagues are invited to an informal gathering to discuss opportunities for involvement in ISOPP. This is an opportunity to learn how you can contribute to ISOPP's mission for the future.  

ISOPP 20th Anniversary Dinner Chilean Style
Tuesday, April 19, 19:30-23:00 Sheraton Santiago

Come celebrate ISOPP's 20th anniversary Chilean style.  Enjoy good food, wine and local culture with friends, old and new.  Performers from the Ballet Folklórico Antumapu, an outstanding artistic dance company dedicated to preserving Chilean folk culture, will perform "Chiliche, Gente de Chile" ("The People of Chile").  They will explore the great geographic and cultural diversity of the Chilean man and woman through music, poetry and dance.
Keynote Speakers

Deputy CEO and Advocacy & Programmes Director of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Geneva, Switzerland


Medical Oncologist and Head of Early Development Drug Unit of Instituto Oncologico, Fundación Arturo López Pérez, Santiago, Chile

R. Donald Harvey, PharmD

Associate Professor, Hematology/Medical
Oncology, Director, Phase 1 Clinical Trials Section, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Milan J. Anadkat, MD

Associate Professor, Division of Dermatology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA
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].
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.
Calendar of Events
Submit an Article

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