Volume 22 | No. 1 | March 2020

As I write my message, I am reflecting on how our world has changed since my last communication to you. Over the past month, we have all been navigating through unprecedented times. I know that our members around the world are currently under a lot of stress and are working really hard to serve their patients. My heart goes out to you and your loved ones who have been impacted by the pandemic. The virus does not respect national boundaries (quoted from Bill Gates), and the same is for kindness and comfort. As an oncology pharmacy community, we can bring kindness and comfort to one another across all boundaries and support one another through such difficult times.

The situation surrounding the pandemic will continue to change and evolve; what will not change is our Society’s commitment to do everything we can to support our members. Hence, our Society’s online Annual General Meeting (AGM) will go ahead as planned on Wednesday, April 8 at 05:00 PDT. However, what is different about our AGM this year is that we will be incorporating a special element to allow our members to stay connected by sharing their experiences during this unprecedented time. It is at a time like this that our community should strengthen and learn from one another’s changes in our daily lives. I hope you can take the time from your very busy schedule to join us.

And of course, we cannot let the virus defeat our Society’s mission to advance oncology pharmacy practice globally. I would like to provide you a short update with the Society’s latest activities:

  • Election Results: An impressive 52% of the membership voted in this year’s election – thank you! I would like to welcome our newly elected Secretariat members, Robert Duncombe (Treasurer), Kimberley-Ann Kerr (Director) and Irene Weru (Director) and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the outgoing Secretariat members, Lisa Holle, Felice Musicco and Bo (Miguel) Yu. The new secretariat members will be inducted during the online AGM on April 8.
  • Biosimilars Task Force: The Biosimilars Supplement Publication of 4 Biosimilars Papers (Global Position on the Use of Biosimilars in Cancer Treatment and Supportive Care, ISOPP Symposium 2019 Biosimilars Workshop Proceedings, Biosimilars Education Needs Assessment Survey, and A Survey of Global Biosimilars Implementation Practice) is currently being published in our home journal, Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice. In addition, the Task Force is developing a Biosimilars Educational Toolkit, providing resources to assist oncology pharmacy practitioners in their practice.
  • Education Committee: Our hard working volunteers recently launched a webinar titled ISOPP's View on Biosimilars and Practical Considerations for its Implementation. Log into the website and watch the recording. It is complimentary for ISOPP members until March 2021. The Committee is also creating Pharmacotherapy Case Studies covering complex clinical situations and developing courses on basic and advanced concepts of oncology pharmacy practice. Stay tuned for more on these initiatives!

  • Volunteer Opportunity: We are looking to form two Task Forces – one to draft a position paper on the role of the oncology pharmacist in the era of immunotherapy, and the second to devise strategies to further engage our members. Please email services@isopp.org to express your interest in being part of these Task Forces or if you would like to chair either one. 

This is my last newsletter to you as my term as President ends at the AGM on April 8. It has been a humble experience for me to serve all of you over the past two years. We have strengthened our presence in many parts of the world and we have ventured into many new areas that have made us successful in our mission. I owe everyone a big THANK YOU for all that you have done for ISOPP. Many of you have given me lots of support as I was pushing new boundaries for the Society. I cannot be more thankful for all your support. 

Once again, for our frontline ISOPP members who are serving patients, my heart and spirit are with you. Thank you for everything you are doing for your patients. I am inspired as I see communities and the world come together to keep us all safe. I strongly believe that we will get through this difficult and challenging time together. So please stay safe everyone, and I will see you online at our AGM on Wednesday.

Best regards,
Alex Chan
ISOPP President

PS Be sure to read the “Oncology Pharmacy Around the World” articles sharing stories of our members’ activities prior to the world we live in now.
ISOPP Business News
2020 ISOPP Annual General Meeting (AGM)

This year, at ISOPP’s Virtual 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM), we are inviting everyone to stay connected by sharing their experiences during this unprecedented time. Join us and let’s talk!  

The AGM takes place virtually on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 05:00 PDT ( Click here to find your local time ).  

Be sure to review the following documents in advance using the links below (log in as member):

See you online!
ISOPP 2020 Secretariat Election Results

ISOPP’s 2020 Secretariat election took place February 12 to March 4 and an impressive 52% of members voted. Thank you all for your participation and welcome aboard to our newly elected Secretariat members:

  • Robert Duncombe (Treasurer)
  • Kimberley-Ann Kerr (General Secretariat Member)
  • Irene Weru (General Secretariat Member)
Emma Foreman facilitates the Biosimilars Workshop at ISOPP's 2019 Symposium in London
Himanshu Patel, Education Committee Chair displays ISOPP's Educational Needs of Oncology Pharmacists Survey Report Poster at ISOPP's 2019 Symposium in London
ISOPP’s Paper on Education Needs Assessment Survey Results

The results of ISOPP’s Education Needs Assessment Survey, which was conducted at the end of 2018 to guide ISOPP’s education offerings, will be published in ISOPP’s Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice (JOPP) . The results were already presented by Himanshu Patel, Chair of the Education Committee, at ISOPP’s 2019 Symposium , which took place in London, UK from October 10 to 13, 2019.

Thank you to the Education Committee members for all their hard work in understanding the needs of ISOPP members and delivering on our education needs.
ISOPP Sponsored Membership

Each year during the membership renewal period, members graciously donate monies so that fellow oncology pharmacy practitioners, who might otherwise not be able to join ISOPP, are afforded the opportunity. This year, ISOPP received 30 requests and of these requests,13 people who care about advancing cancer care will become members. 

This is thanks to the generosity of fellow members: Alexandre Chan, Thomas Connor, Tandy-Sue Copeland, Carlo DeAngelis, Marc Geirnaert, David Henry, Lisa Holle, Eric Kastango, Polly Kintzel, Rachel Nixon, Shaun O'Connor, Debbie Paull, John Wiernikowski and others.

If you would like to make a donation, please email ISOPP’s Society Management office at membership@isopp.org or log into your membership record to make the donation. If 119 members make a donation of $20 CAD , we will reach our target amount of $2,378.25 CAD so that the remaining 17 requests can be supported and the new members can be welcomed to the ISOPP community.
Podcast Interview: Pharmacy Tribes, Orgs & Association for a New Decade 

Lisa Holle, outgoing ISOPP Treasurer, was part of a podcast miniseries titled Pharmacy Tribes, Orgs & Association for a New Decade, presented by Edutainer with Dr.Erin L. Albert.

The Podcast features information on ISOPP, shares challenges that ISOPP faces, and touches on the trends that will affect oncology pharmacists over the next 10 years.

Highlighted Education Resources
ISOPP Biosimilars Toolkit

The ISOPP Biosimilars Task Force and Education Committee are creating a Biosimilars Toolkit to assist oncology pharmacy practitioners in their practice. 

The plan is for the Toolkit to include resources such as: 

  • Basics of Biosimilars 
  • Regulatory guidance by different agencies
  • Position statements of ISOPP and other societies
  • Local and regional policies guiding Biosimilars use 
  • General public perspective and social media
  • Patient educational resources
  • Health care professional’s resources
  • Biosimilars resources at ISOPP events

The Toolkit is currently in development and we invite ideas and resources you may have. Email services@isopp.org . We will keep you informed on progress.
Members have access to member-only Masterclasses which take place around the world. 

Masterclasses are practical workshops specific to the needs of oncology pharmacy practitioners, facilitated by ISOPP leaders and oncology pharmacy experts.

Topics include: Oral Anticancer, Supportive Care, Safe Handling, and Advanced Aseptic Preparation.

In addition to hands on learning, participants have access to presentation materials post event. 

“Most impressive because I had a chance to learn from pharmacists from different countries”.
             2019 London Masterclass Participant

100% of evaluation respondents agreed that the content of the 2019 London Masterclass was applicable to their practice and they would recommend ISOPP’s Masterclasses to others. 

The next Masterclass was planned for May 2020 in Ghana, Africa. However, it has been postponed. Visit the ISOPP website for updated information as it becomes available.
ISOPP offers new online educational opportunities specific to the needs of oncology pharmacy practitioners, and facilitated by ISOPP leaders and oncology pharmacy experts.

Did you miss the most recent webinar titled ISOPP's View on Biosimilars and Practical Considerations for its Implementation , which took place on March 18, 2020? 

Log on as a member to watch the recording on the ISOPP website . Members have complimentary access for one year from the Webinar date.

Watch for upcoming Webinars in 2020! 

Interested in presenting a webinar? Please contact the Education Committee Chair, Himanshu Patel, at education@isopp.org
If you attended the Australasia Regional Oncology Pharmacy Symposium 2019 (AusROPS19) , the Africa Regional Oncology Pharmacy Symposium 2019 (AROPS19) or the XVIII International Symposium on International Symposium on Oncology Pharmacy Practice (ISOPP 2019) or have purchased access to the Virtual Library , log in to the  ISOPP website and visit the Virtual Library to view the video presentations and audio recordings. 
The Regional and International Symposia participants receive complimentary access to the video recordings of the Symposium they attend for 12 months post event.
The 69 th issue of the Virtual Journal Club (VJC) is available. To access it, visit the Virtual Journal Club Surveys page or follow the direct link to the survey.
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 available. Although not formally accredited for continuing medical education (CME) points, participation is equal to one hour of CME activity.
Call for Oncology Pharmacy Educational Resources
Would you like to share an Educational Resource with ISOPP members? 
The Education Committee has developed an  Education Resources Review Policy   to determine if proposed resources are useful to ISOPP members. 
ISOPP hosts online resources and links to external educational materials on its  Oncology Pharmacy Resources   web page with the aim to expand the reach of educational content relevant to Oncology Pharmacy practitioners. 
We encourage you to  review the policy   and share your Education Resources with fellow ISOPP members.
Did you know?
Membership Benefit: Sosido
ISOPP members have access to Sosido, an online knowledge sharing platform designed to speed clinical knowledge transfer between healthcare professionals.
Are you a new ISOPP member? Then, you will receive an email in April to set up access to Sosido!
Through Sosido, ISOPP members will receive:
  • A weekly email digest summarizing all activity in the ISOPP community. You don’t have to log in to participate, and anything that’s important will come to your inbox, including:

  • Updates on all publications authored by ISOPP members that week. Sosido automatically delivers a current and complete snapshot of the work of our ISOPP community.
  • A summary of new articles released that week from journals chosen by you.
  • Access to a secure ISOPP members-only forum to ask and answer questions.
Follow us on ISOPP’s new LinkedIn Page 
ISOPP is the world’s gateway to oncology pharmacy research and practice. This is the place you come to learn about the latest developments in oncology pharmacy, to connect with pioneers in cancer treatment, and to expand your knowledge of oncology pharmacy practice worldwide.
ISOPP’s public page on LinkedIn is now available to the public! Follow us to stay informed of upcoming ISOPP activities and conversations.
Share our posts with your network and encourage others to join ISOPP!
There is also an ISOPP Group page in LinkedIn if you would like to connect and share your ideas and best practices with other Oncology Pharmacy practitioners!
 Quarterly Newsletter Author
Would you like to contribute articles to be published in the ISOPP Newsletter?
We would love to hear about conferences you have attended, a typical day in your job or anything else you would like to share with ISOPP members in oncology pharmacy and your practice.
ISOPP’s Newsletter , published quarterly and sent via email directly to members, is the home of international discussion on oncology pharmacy research and practice and ISOPP news and business. We are always looking for contributions.  
Contact Evelyn Handel, Newsletter Editor at newsletter@isopp.org to submit an article. 
Evelyn Handel
Newsletter Editor
Are you or your national organization looking for a way to reach ISOPP members for a research study, to share information or other related oncology pharmacy matters?
There are several ways to reach ISOPP members:
ISOPP will distribute your survey, if it meets set criteria . This service is free if the principal investigator or co-investigator is an ISOPP member, and is available to non-members for a fee of $750 CAD.
Many ISOPP members are part of healthcare teams involved in cancer prevention, treatment, supportive care, and symptom management. If you would like to reach them to share information about a job posting, a product launch, a conference or other related oncology pharmacy matters, ISOPP will distribute an email on your behalf and post the information to the ISOPP website. Check out the cost for a one-time email distribution !
Visit the ISOPP Website for more information on how to reach our members.
Oncology Pharmacy Around the World
European Parliamentary Meeting on January 29, 2020
By Tiene Bauters, Ghent University Hospital, Pharmacy, Belgium
Tackling exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic substances in both workplaces and the wider population is a core competency of the European Union.
Recent amendments from the European Parliament to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive have mandated the Commission to conduct assessments whether to amend this Directive to include hazardous drugs, including cytotoxic drugs, for the purpose of ensuring occupational safety of workers in healthcare settings.

Chemotherapy Preparation in Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
By Lorraine Diwas and Margarita Padilla, Inpatient Pharmacy, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) is a multi-specialty hospital located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates that has been open to the public since May 2015. CCAD has five Centers of Excellence in the following Institutes: Heart & Vascular, Neurological, Digestive Disease, Eye, and Respiratory & Critical Care. Other Institutes include Medical Subspecialties (including Oncology and Hematology), Surgical Subspecialties, Emergency Medicine, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, Anesthesiology, and Quality & Patient Safety. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is the first UAE healthcare facility, and the second in the GCC, to achieve HIMSS Stage 7. 

Coronavirus: Review of available and up to date information that has been published
By Felice Musicco, Instituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri, Italy
In general, the use of drugs is desirable, taking into account risks and benefits, always within controlled trials, in order to produce valid results and, above all, to produce therapeutic recommendations.
In addition, programs for expanded access to experimental drugs or compassionate protocols should be proposed by central agencies after careful evaluation of evidence of risks and benefits, so as to involve manufacturers and facilitate procedures for access and supply to citizens through pharmacies and pharmacists.
7 th National Hospital and Institution Pharmacists Congress by TÜKED on March 4-7, 2020
By Shaun O’Connor, St. Vincent’s Health, Australia
Over 800 pharmacists gathered at Royal Seginus Hotel, Antalya, Turkey for the 7 th Tüm Kamu Eczacıları Derneği (TÜKED) Congress.
A wide program covered the spectrum of pharmacy practice, but included specialist sessions on Clinical Pharmacy Practice and Immunotherapy from the consultant and the pharmacist’s viewpoints. The talks covered mechanisms of actions, studies showing efficacy, adverse effects and pearls for pharmacists.
Immune-related adverse events management seminar in Tokyo
By Hisanaga Nomura, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, Japan
Until only 10 years ago, the main types of cancer treatment used to be referred to as “The Three Musketeers,” which were surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Since Check-Mate 037 was published, cancer treatment has now expanded to four pillars, to also include immunotherapy. Six years have passed since nivolumab was approved in Japan. When it was approved, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) had only been used in specialized hospital settings. Nowadays, ICIs are widely used to treat cancer patients in many hospital settings. In Japan, there are lots of minor regional hospitals other than the large cancer centers. ICIs are used in regional hospitals all over Japan. Many times, medical staff and patients and their families do not always understand what immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are and how to recognize them. It is important to explain and recognize the first symptoms of irAE and how to manage them before treatment with immune therapy begins. The irAE team is important not only in specialized hospitals, but also in the general (regional) hospitals.
ISOPP's Society and Symposium Management Office

Sea to Sky Meeting and Association Management  is ISOPP's Society and Symposium Management Office. If you have any questions about membership, services, Symposium or the Society, please contact the ISOPP Office directly as follows:

Direct: +1-604-984-6448
Suite 206, 201 Bewicke Avenue 
North Vancouver, BC Canada V7M 3M7