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Pharmacy Practice NewsProtecting Cancer Patients on the Precision Medicine Path

Pharmacists at the Forefront: Navigating the Complex Landscape of Off-label Treatment Combinations in Oncology

In the rapidly evolving field of oncology, precision medicine is paving the way for individualized treatment regimens. The role of pharmacists is becoming increasingly critical in managing complex treatment combinations, particularly those that are off label. This article delves into the challenges and opportunities presented by this new era of oncology care.

Key Points

  • Precision medicine in oncology is expanding beyond chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to include a variety of targeted approaches.
  • Pharmacists play a crucial role in managing off-label treatment combinations, with a focus on minimizing toxicities and distinguishing among the side effects of different drugs.
  • Patient empowerment and education are vital. Pharmacists should ensure patients understand their treatment regimen, potential side effects, and the importance of timely symptom reporting.
  • Dose adjustments are common practice in treatment regimens, especially with newer targeted therapies.
  • Pharmacists should remain vigilant and curious, particularly with off-label combinations.

“Are the pathways of these two or three or four drugs synergistic? Is that the right approach or should we go after multiple pathways?”
— Mark Dunnenberger, PharmD, Assistant Vice President of Personalized Medicine and Pharmacogenomics at NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Neamann Center for Personalized Medicine

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