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The Rise of Oral Oncolytics

Howard Cohen, RPh, MS, FASHP
Published: Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018



Howard Cohen, RPh, MS, FASHP, director of oncology pharmacy services, Smilow Cancer Center, Yale New Haven Health, discusses the rise of oral oncolytics in the treatment landscape during the 2018 NCODA Fall Summit.

Oncologists and pharmacists are expecting a dramatic shift in the way cancer is managed, Cohen says. Historically, cancer has been treated primarily with injections and infusions, but Cohen predicts that physicians will begin to move away from the more invasive approaches as oral oncolytics become more prominent in the treatment landscape.

This shift has already started, he adds, as there are about 450 oral agents currently in the pipeline that are either being tested in clinical trials or awaiting regulatory decision from the FDA.

One factor that providers need to keep in mind is that although oral agents may be less invasive, they are still hazardous. They have the same toxicity profiles as the injectable agents; as such, Cohen stresses that oral agents need to be handled with the same vigilance.


Howard Cohen, RPh, MS, FASHP, director of oncology pharmacy services, Smilow Cancer Center, Yale New Haven Health, discusses the rise of oral oncolytics in the treatment landscape during the 2018 NCODA Fall Summit.

Oncologists and pharmacists are expecting a dramatic shift in the way cancer is managed, Cohen says. Historically, cancer has been treated primarily with injections and infusions, but Cohen predicts that physicians will begin to move away from the more invasive approaches as oral oncolytics become more prominent in the treatment landscape.

This shift has already started, he adds, as there are about 450 oral agents currently in the pipeline that are either being tested in clinical trials or awaiting regulatory decision from the FDA.

One factor that providers need to keep in mind is that although oral agents may be less invasive, they are still hazardous. They have the same toxicity profiles as the injectable agents; as such, Cohen stresses that oral agents need to be handled with the same vigilance.



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