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Future of Pharmacy

Understanding the Important Role Pharmacists Play in Oncology Research

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Pharmacists have an important role to play in cancer care, and the Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology is fully behind them. 

Caring for cancer patients requires a team approach, with a dedicated network of health care professionals working together to support both patients and caregivers through their cancer journey. This team includes oncology pharmacists, who support patients and caregivers with patient education, chemotherapy clinical review (including identifying drug interactions with home medications, monitoring for side effects, and evaluating liver and kidney function during therapy), and product preparation (including compounding and dispensing chemotherapy treatments in pill form).  

“Pharmacists are important in the world of cancer care because we’ve very accessible and knowledgeable,” says Tiffany Nguyen, an oncology pharmacist and Chair of the Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology (CAPhO) Research Committee. “Whether in a hospital or in the community, pharmacists are always readily available to patients to provide support and help solve problems.” 

Oncology pharmacists are highly clinically involved, working in close collaboration with other oncology professionals to provide patient care.

On the other side, oncology pharmacists are also very involved in the research aspect of oncology. 

Advancing research  

As with oncology patient care, oncology research and advancements are the result of a collaborative network of dedicated professionals.  

“Research plays a huge role in oncology,” says Nguyen. “It’s such a fast-moving area, with new treatments constantly coming out.” 

Oncology pharmacists play a vital role in research: measuring and standardizing oncology pharmacy care, ensuring that all Canadians receive the same high levels of pharmacy care, and collaborating to ensure optimal use of new medications. 

CAPhO supports the many oncology pharmacists who participate in oncology research. As a member-directed association, CAPhO is dedicated to promoting, supporting, and advancing oncology pharmacy practice. Its members include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, assistants, and students, and it contributes to member professional development through mentorship, education, and research support. 

Strengthening a collaborative network  

Our main goal on the Research Committee is to strengthen our research network and to help facilitate research activity for CAPhO members.

“We’re currently working to deliver a new research education program, and we’re also working to develop a research mentorship network program that would bring the community of oncology pharmacists together, increasing collaboration between researchers nationwide and improving the quality of research being done.”  

From supporting its members in undertaking research initiatives to awarding research grants for innovative projects to providing extensive educational resources, CAPhO is making a decided difference in Canadian cancer care. In bringing oncology pharmacists across the country together, the network is helping to improve the safety and quality of patient care.

Visit to learn more about the benefits of CAPhO membership.

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