The 4th Oncology Pharmacy Board Review hosted by Asia Pacific Oncology Pharmacy Society (APOPS) in Udontani, Thailand

By Suphat Subongkot, Khon Kaen University

From March 21 to March 22, 2019, the fourth Oncology Pharmacy Board Review organized by Asia Pacific Oncology Pharmacy Society (APOPS) in Thailand was a national congress that took place in Udontani, Northeastern part of Thailand.  This two-day review course is held annually in March according to the domains and knowledge statements outlined by Board Pharmaceutical Specialty (BPS) for the examination. This year’s theme “Comprehensive Oncology Pharmacy Refresh” provides a robust preparatory curriculum for the oncology pharmacy professional preparing for the examination to be held in May and October 2019.  This year over 140 attendees including one overseas oncology pharmacist from Japan enthusiastically participated the event.

Participants enjoying a APOPS Session

The conference was opened by Mr. Kamonsak Reungjarearnrung, R.Ph, APOPS (Thailand) President who has been very supportive in making this event accessible to anyone who plans to achieve their board certified oncology pharmacist through Board Pharmaceutical Specialty (BPS).  During the opening speech, he envisioned that APOPS (Thailand) will foster the role of oncology pharmacists and make sure that every cancer patient will reach the optimal clinical outcome.

As far as the conference contents the program included not only reviews and updates of cancer related topics such as solid and hematologic malignancies, pharmacology of anticancer, supportive care, statistics refresh, clinical trial designs/policy, anticancer research and development but also options for pharmacists as important members of the cancer-care-team to participate an interactive poll utilizing “Kahoot application” from their own mobile devices which makes this conference event more interactive. 

With some lectures e.g.  “Statistics Refresh ", “Clinical Trial Designs”, “Anti-cancer Research and Development, the participants were taught to yield in clinical research aspects to the cancer-care-team by utilizing a landmark evidence in the case scenarios throughout the lecture series. 

Onto the supportive care related topics in particular antiemetic guidelines, anticoagulation guidelines, pain management, infectious issues, and TKIs related toxicities, oncology pharmacists were challenged to compare pros- and cons- of national vs. internal guidelines development which was considered one of the conference highlights.

During the two long days, the academic program typically began early in the morning at 8.30 am with Exhibitors’ Lunch Symposia and ended in the evening after Dinner Symposias at 17:00 pm.

The second day started earlier at 5am as APOPS (Thailand) organized a charity run to raise money for Udontani Hospital Cancer Research fund and more than 70 participants signed up for the event.  The participants were able to enjoy their charity run yet learn and study many subjects through interchanging ideas with other participants at the board review.  

Participants at the Charity Run during APOPS

The conference was well attended all the time.  All participants were excellent and motivated individuals.  We hope to see each other this August 2019 for the 13th Clinical Oncology Pharmacy Symposium in Bangkok and at next year international conference “Asia Pacific Oncology Pharmacy Congress 2020” in Bangkok, Thailand.  We are looking forward to seeing you all.  Sa-was-dee (Thai-greeting).