Highlights from the JADPRO Live at APSHO 2014 Conference

Megan  Brafford, PharmD BCOP
Clinical Oncology Pharmacy Specialist
Baptist Health Lexington Lexington, KY

The second annual Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology (JADPRO) Live conference was held in Orlando, FL, October 29– November 2, 2014. This meeting was held in conjunction with the first annual Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO) meeting. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Transition Oncology Practice” and focused on advanced practitioners and physicians coming together to discuss current treatment options and advances in the care of cancer patients, describe key legislative changes essential to the advanced practitioner, and identify means to improve collaboration—all with an ultimate goal of decreasing adverse events and improving patient outcomes. The first day of the 4-day conference consisted of multiple workshops, including writing for publication, decoding genetics, establishing a collaborative practice, interpreting an electrocardiogram (EKG) and pathology report, and a hands-on skills workshop reviewing bone marrow aspiration, lumbar puncture, Ommaya reservoir placement, punch biopsy, and suturing.

The remaining 3 days included more than 20 educational sessions on didactic, interactive, evidence-based content targeted to advanced practitioners in oncology including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, other advanced-degree nurses, hematology/oncology nurses, pharmacists, and physicians. Each presentation reviewed best practices involving a multidisciplinary setting.

The didactic grand round presentations were fantastic overviews of the disease states, diagnostics, identification of risk factors, and management options with both current and future treatment options. Each presentation included at least two speakers from different roles within the multidisciplinary team. The grand round presentations included effective strategies that practitioners could implement in their own institutions and clinics. The topics included non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic myelogenous leukemia, prostate cancer, breast cancer, basal cell carcinoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, gynecologic malignancies, and lung cancer.

One of the panel presentations, “Genetic and BRCA Mutations,” ad- dressed the controversies and challenges in genetic testing for breast cancer, including the social and ethical implications of testing for genetic mutations in this patient population. “Treatment and Disease- Related Cardiotoxicity in the Oncology Setting” provided the tools needed to apply the principles of risk analysis, prevention, early identification of signs and symptoms, and individualized treatment planning for cancer patients at risk of developing disease or treatment-related cardiac events. Cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death in cancer survivors, which explains the need for cardiologists and oncologists to collaborate throughout and after chemotherapy treatment. The presentation focused on the main medications that can result in cardiotoxicity, including anthracyclines, QTc prolongation medications, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Exciting new cancer therapies are being discovered; however, to maximize their potential, cardiac toxicities need to be identified and addressed upfront.

The program “Avoiding Common Drug Interactions and Reactions” not only reviewed the most frequent drug interactions and clinical impact in oncology and hematology, but also helped the audience develop ideas on how to create protocols to identify and minimize the risk of drug interactions by improving collaboration between all members of the healthcare team. At this program and throughout the entire conference, attendees received both quality education and practical resources that can be engaged and utilized in cancer centers through- out the country.

An additional program with pharmacy-related topics included “New Hematology/Oncology Drug Updates,” which was a great review of pharmacology and indications of every new oncology/ hematology drug approved in 2014. Recommendations for monitoring and management of toxicities also were addressed. This presentation emphasized the impact of each of these medications on advanced practitioners and explained how to utilize each medication in clinical practice.

Another highlight was the keynote presentation, “A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Chemotherapy,” by Dan Shapiro, PhD. Presented in first-person stories illustrating the complexity of front-line medicine, his talk emphasized the importance of connecting to others in the face of challenging regimens.

JADPRO Live at APSHO 2014 provided practitioners the opportunity to network with a multidisciplinary team and work together to better serve our patients. More information about joining APSHO and JADPRO Live can be found at