A Report of ISOPP's International Symposium on Oncology Pharmacy, 2018 in Shanghai, China

By Himanshu Patel, AmerisourceBergen, Pickering, Canada

First of all my heartfelt thanks to ISOPP for providing me an opportunity to attend the ISOPP 2018 symposium in Shanghai, China. Visiting the ISOPP symposium provides a unique opportunity to learn oncology pharmacy, strengthen ideas in practice & research, and to make new pharmacists friends and beyond boundary fun.

My ISOPP 2018 experience in Shanghai was very refreshing and useful in strengthening knowledge in key areas like oral anti-cancer agents, novel trial designs in oncology, interprofessional collaborative oncology practice, dose banding, solid tumour updates and opioid addiction in cancer patients. Coming to research related sessions like the role of the pharmacist in investigational agents, student research presentations, platform presentations and posters covered broader aspects of oncology pharmacy research and its applications. The session on the role of Chinese medicine in cancer care and the joint symposium with JASPO (Japanese Society of Pharmaceutical Oncology) was useful in order to emphasise the importance of alternative medicines and the oncology practice scenario in Japan respectively.

The session on ISOPP standards of practice will surely allow all attendees, especially new members, to get educated with importance and applications of ISOPP standards in oncology practice. These standards help a lot, especially for pharmacists who have limited opportunities to learn about standards in their practice. The exhibition of ISOPP opportunities at the symposium is a great initiative and provides opportunities to new members and attendees to understand different volunteer roles, and current activities of ISOPP. Such exhibition makes interactions of members easy with ISOPP leaders.

Satellite symposiums from various pharma companies were once again unique opportunities at the ISOPP symposium. These symposia allowed ample opportunities to interact with industry representatives and to learn oncology pharmacy updates from a different dimension. The exhibitions from pharma companies were also well executed and provided an in depth understanding of closed transfer devices system for safe and effective transfer of chemotherapy.

The social event gathering on the river cruise was amazing and the most memorable experience. It brought all participants close to each other over various Chinese cuisines. The visit to the National Cancer Centre in Shanghai also added great value to my experience of ISOPP 2018. This visit helped me to understand common cancers in China, their practice scenario, medication therapy management model, and pharmacy management at the National Cancer Centre.

Finally, ISOPP 2018 provided me with great opportunities for professional networking with various experts from different countries. This networking helped with exchanging practice scenarios and experiences with each other and learning from each other. Finally, I extremely thank ISOPP and its leadership for providing me this opportunity to participate in the ISOPP 2018 symposium. I strongly recommend all new members to work closely with ISOPP because ISOPP provides opportunities of all nature to support and enhance your knowledge and leadership in oncology pharmacy.  

Himanshu Patel during concurrent session (platform presentation) Himanshu Patel at ISOPP 2018
Himanshu Patel and Harbans Dhillon during close up session Himanshu Patel and students of National University of Singapore during visit to National Cancer Centre, Shanghai
Himanshu Patel and Alex Chan during networking event