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Highlights from the JADPRO Live at APSHO 2015 Conference

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


The third annual Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology (JADPRO) Live conference was held in Phoenix, AZ, on November 5–8, 2015. This conference was held in conjunction with the second annual Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO) meeting. The focused theme of this year’s meeting was “Collaborate, Learn, Care, and Lead” and concentrated on advanced practitioners and physicians coming together to discuss current treatment options and advances in the care of cancer patients. The first day of the conference consisted of multiple workshop options: grant writing advice, an immunotherapy primer, everyday applications to be used as tools and technology, primary care considerations for the patient with cancer, and a hands-on skills workshop reviewing bone marrow aspiration, lumbar puncture, Ommaya reservoir placement, punch biopsy, and suturing.

The remaining three days consisted of more than 20 educational sessions comprising didactic, interactive, patient case-based and 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. One of the unique characteristics of the JADPRO Live conference is that the majority of presentations included at least two speakers with different roles from the multidisciplinary team.

One of the panel discussions on “Revolution at the Corner Drugstore” addressed the importance of the collaborative practice team in order to manage multiple issues regarding the increased use of oral chemotherapies such as drug payment assistance, monitoring for drug adherence, dosing issues, proper patient education, and managing toxicities. The panel stated, “with approximately 800 oncology drugs in the pipeline and 40% of these being oral medications and 80% of those being first-in-class medications, the need for increased aware- ness of oral chemotherapies is imperative.” Each year, approximately $100 billion to $300 billion dollars are spent on health care due to non- adherence. The panel discussed the benefit of providing calendars to patients on oral agents to increase adherence. Matthew Farber (senior director of oncology for Walgreens) noted that pharmacists can and should play a larger role in assisting patients with reimbursement and other critical issues related to oral therapy. Other major topics discussed included herbals and supplements and their interaction with oral chemotherapies, as well as the need for accurate medication reconciliation.

An additional program directly related to pharmacy topics included “Review of Newly Approved Oncologic Therapies.” This was a great review of pharmacology and indications of every new oncology/ hematology drug approved in late 2014 and the first half of 2015. Recommendations for monitoring and management of treatment-related toxicities were also addressed. Lastly, this presentation emphasized the impact of each of these medications on advanced practitioners and how to utilize each medication in clinical practice.

Another highlight was the keynote presentation by Laura Adams, titled “There’s a Patient on the Care Team: The New Design for Health and Healing.” The resonating statement throughout the presentation was the confirmation that what we do as healthcare professionals matters and that we touch our patients’ lives with everything we do. Laura shared her concerns regarding the lack of patient record sharing throughout our entire healthcare system and addressed the many issues this creates for our patients. She also shared her personal story regarding coping with and surviving breast cancer. Utilizing her personal experiences, she is educating providers to ensure the patient is a part of each medical team. Collaboration may be the most important survival strategy for every organization and the patient. She left the audience with the quote “We can only connect the dots we collect.”
JADPRO Live at APSHO 2015 gave practitioners the opportunity to network with providers from various specialties and work together to better serve our patients. More information about joining APSHO and attending JADPRO Live can be found at the website www.apsho. org. Save the date for the 2016 meeting at the Gaylord National Hotel in Washington, DC, November 3–6, 2016.

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