Editorial

An estimated 19,000 new cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) will be diagnosed this year in the United States, with more than 4600 deaths resulting from this hematologic malignancy.

Since the approval of ipilimumab (Yervoy; a monoclonal antibody that blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 for late-stage melanoma) in 2011, it may be easier to answer the question: For which types of cancer are immunotherapy agents not effective?
As oncology medical organizations rally to increase awareness and promote the provision of better smoking cessation services to cancer patients, pharmacists have the opportunity to serve a vital role in this movement.
The continued increase in oral chemotherapy agents receiving US Food and Drug Administration approval, and their expanded use in the first-line setting or in combination with intravenous agents, continues to impact the oncology practice.
As pharmacists, we play an integral role in anticipating and managing adverse events associated with conventional and novel cancer treatments. From alkylating agents to programmed cell death-1 receptor antagonists, the sheer number of agents, spectrum of toxicities, and rapidly evolving combination data make it difficult to maintain an up-to-date approach to treating patients who are at risk for adverse events.
New guidelines and position statements are being published with increasing regularity from a variety of sources, which impact both clinical and practice issues in oncology patient care.
The number of new cancer diagnoses in the United States is estimated to be 1,665,540 (excluding basal-cell and squamous-cell skin cancers) in 2014. The study of tumor biology in drug development and as a guide for selecting therapy for the individual patient has translated into improved outcomes for many patients with cancer.
In March of this year, the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) held its annual meeting in New Orleans, LA. What made this meeting special is that it marked the 10-year anniversary of the conference and was highlighted by a special keynote lecture by John Kuhn, one of HOPA’s founding members, and its first president.

In this month’s issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON), we continue our coverage of the news from the 37th Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The news from ONS continues to demonstrate the important role nurses play in symptom management and in helping patients prepare for and understand their treatments.

It’s been a busy time in the world of oncology. The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) held its 37th Annual Congress in May while the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) took place this month. The Oncology Nurse- APN/PA (TON) was at both events. Our coverage of the news from the ONS and ASCO meetings starts with this issue and will continue over the next several issues.

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