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From the Editors - TOP May 2018

TOP - May 2018, Vol 11, No 1
 From the Editor - TOP May 2018

In the May issue of The Oncology Pharmacist, we feature highlights of key presentations and studies from the 2018 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annual Conference, which took place in Denver, CO.

One presenter reviewed recent efficacy and safety data on immune checkpoint inhibitor regimens in melanoma and discussed characteristics that may help guide treatment-planning decisions (click here to view).

“Since 2011, it’s been a whirlwind of progress and advancement, and melanoma has been leading the pack for immunotherapies, but now, we’re all trying to find the best way to use these new options,” Jaime Anderson, PharmD, BCOP, Oncology Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Melanoma and Sarcoma Medical Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, told attendees.

In another presentation at HOPA, Amanda Seddon, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Chicago College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University, and Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, discussed FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia, including currently available treatment, mechanisms of resistance, and future directions (click here to view).

“The second-generation FLT3 inhibitors, namely quizartinib, crenolanib, and gilteritinib, are much more selective. So, although they may target a couple of other receptors, they’re very specific and potent for FLT3,” she said.

This issue also features highlights of key presentations and studies from recent national and international meetings, including the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium and the 2018 Cancer Survivorship Symposium.

Of note, one presenter at the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium discussed positive results from the phase 3 POUT clinical trial, which compared adjuvant chemotherapy with surveillance in patients with upper-tract urothelial cancer (UTUC), a relatively uncommon and neglected disease. Adjuvant chemotherapy showed impressive gains in disease-free survival and metastasis-free survival, which may lead to a new standard of care for individuals with this malignancy (click here to view).

“It is a triumph getting behind a trial with a low-incidence tumor,” stated lead investigator Alison Jane Birtle, MD, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Rosemere Cancer Centre, Royal Preston Hospital, England. “UTUC is a relatively rare disease, and it is safe to say it is more lethal than muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It has been neglected, with little interest, and can be considered a ‘Cinderella’ tumor,” she said.

In addition to conference news, this issue provides valuable information on the potential for a novel immunotherapy combination regimen of nelipepimut-S plus trastuzumab to extend disease-free survival in patients with HER2 1+/2+ breast cancer, new cancer drugs that have been approved by the FDA (click here to view), and a decision by the FDA to allow a genetic testing firm to sell kits to consumers to test whether they carry gene mutations that put them at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer. This decision feeds into a larger, ongoing debate about how the government should regulate the lab-developed test business.

We invite you to visit to share your feedback about this issue with us, or send comments to We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Last modified: January 12, 2023