The Oncology Connection


The Benefit of a Pharmacist-run Oral Chemotherapy Clinic on Prescription Abandonment Rates

Megan B May, PharmD, BCOP & Jeannie Patrick, PharmD, BCOP Megan B May, PharmD, BCOP & Jeannie Patrick, PharmD, BCOP

In 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approximately 28 new oral anticancer drug approvals and expanded indications for currently available oral anticancer products on the market.1 This expanding area of oncology requires counseling, financial navigation, education, and ...

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A Proven Strategy of Targeted Therapy: Antibody Drug Conjugates in Cancer Treatment

Samantha Musson, PharmD & Moe Schwartz, PharmD, BCOP Samantha Musson, PharmD & Moe Schwartz, PharmD, BCOP

The term “targeted therapy” in cancer refers to drugs or treatment strategies that direct anticancer treatment to specific genes or proteins that influence the growth, proliferation and/or survival of cancer cells.   Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) are a targeted strategy that has rapidly evolved in ...

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Belantamab mafodotin for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (DREAMM-2)

Adam Kahleifeh, PharmD Adam Kahleifeh, PharmD

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a neoplasm characterized by the clonal proliferation of plasma cells that remains an incurable disease. The treatment of relapsed or relapsed/refractory MM continues to be a challenge despite numerous therapeutic advances. B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is a cell-surface ...

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Oncology PA fellowship FAQ

Yue Jiang, PA-C Yue Jiang, PA-C

“So…you are a PA fellow…what’s that?” During my year as an oncology PA fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center, this question came up so many times that I decided to put in some thoughts into polishing my answers. Patients and other care team members usually want to gauge how much they can trust me and ...

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Talking to your Patient about Biosimilar Medications

Justin Musco Justin Musco

Background and History Biological products or biologics are typically large, complex molecules made within a living system, such as an animal cell. Biologics are used to diagnose, prevent, treat, and cure diseases or medical conditions. Examples of biologics include therapeutic proteins like ...

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Educating Patients to Be Empowered Shared Decision Makers

Jonathan Cunningham, MPAS, PA-C Jonathan Cunningham, MPAS, PA-C

Several months ago, I went to my primary care physician for the management of high blood pressure. As a medical professional, and an otherwise healthy young adult, I did not like just settling with the diagnosis of idiopathic hypertension. I wanted to find the underlying cause. Thankfully, with the ...

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Categorizing “Chemo”

Tyler Redelico, PharmD, BCOP & Christina Zelasko, PharmD, BCPS Tyler Redelico, PharmD, BCOP & Christina Zelasko, PharmD, BCPS

Both health care professionals and patients regularly refer to systemic oncology treatments as “chemo”, although every month this term becomes less representative. Some medications clearly fit into certain categories: cisplatin & methotrexate (traditional chemotherapy), imatinib & ...

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A Letter From the Editor-in-Chief

Beth Sandy, MSN, CRNP Beth Sandy, MSN, CRNP

I want to personally welcome my oncology friends and colleagues to The Oncology Connection newsletter. I am a nurse practitioner working in an academic cancer center, specializing in thoracic malignancies. Horizon CME has taken a keen interest in oncology education and approached a group of ...

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Engaging Specialty Pharmacies to Help Patients Cover the Cost of Therapy

Ana Begley Ana Begley

According to recent studies, nearly 1 in 4 adults in the United States who are taking prescription medications, expressed difficulty affording their prescription drugs. After a large spike in costs in 2014, prescription drug costs are expected to represent about 10% of U.S. healthcare costs over ...

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Serving as Team Lead in a Quality Improvement Project

Natalie Halladay, MS, RN, FNP-BC, AOCNP® Natalie Halladay, MS, RN, FNP-BC, AOCNP®

Quality Improvement (QI) in the healthcare setting has evolved in recent years to improve outcomes in clinical practice.1 In 2010, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) implemented the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification program to evaluate practice performance ...

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