Annual School of Nursing Oncology Offers Valuable Education, Networking Opportunities

The 2nd Annual School of Nursing Oncology™, held in Chicago on August 3-4, offered educational opportunities in a fun and exciting setting for oncology nurses.

The 2nd Annual School of Nursing Oncology™, held in Chicago on August 3-4, offered educational opportunities in a fun and exciting setting for oncology nurses.

The conference was geared toward oncology nurses who desire a broad education with a maximum number of continuing education credits in just 2 days. My conference co-chairs Grace Cherry, RN, MSN, NP, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, UCLA Melanoma Program; Laura S. Wood, RN, MSN, OCN, Renal Cancer Research Coordinator, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute; and I pulled in content experts from all over the country to deliver the most current and upcoming treatment strategies for specific cancer types.

The School of Nursing Oncology™ is unique in that it is designed to have a fast-paced agenda with national experts bringing the most up-to-date oncology information to oncology nurses in just 30-minute segments. This year the conference packed in 20 exclusive sessions in just 2 days, splitting up disease site overviews with the latest in toxicity management. Additional case study discussions were dispersed throughout the agenda for the expert panel to provide a clinical framework to assess guidelines and published data, and to give a real-life feel to the audience, leaving room for audience response and questions. The audience took advantage of the opportunities to interact with leaders in the field of oncology nursing, creating an interactive environment where nurses were able to discuss their own clinical challenges.

Highlights this year included Marianne Davies, DNP, ACNP, AOCNP, assistant professor of nursing at Yale University, who discussed toxicity evaluation and management of immunotherapies. Davies has done extensive research and publishing in this field and was the only nurse to be an author on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) immunotherapy toxicity management guidelines, published earlier this year.

Featured local experts also presented during the conference, including Kimberly Rohan, ANP-BC, AOCN, Edward Hematology/Oncology in Naperville, IL, who covered gastrointestinal (GI) cancers; and Grace Rivera, RN, the University of Chicago¾along with national expert Grace Cherry, RN, MSN, from UCLA—who covered melanoma. In addition, Laura Zitella, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, AOCN, nurse practitioner and associate clinical professor of nursing at UCSF, covered leukemia, while Laura Wood, RN, MSN, OCN, nurse practitioner from Cleveland Clinic, covered genitourinary cancer (GU) updates—both of whom are experts in their respective fields and speak nationally on these topics.

I spoke on lung cancer, an area I have specialized in for 15 years, and provided the latest updates on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).

There have been several new drug approvals for CINV in the past 5 years, including netupitant/palonosetron (Akynzeo) as the first ever combination capsule and is now administered intravenously (IV) as well, offering a single treatment to target both the 5HT-3 pathway as well as the NK-1 pathway in one drug. Also, rolapitant (Varubi) is a newer oral NK-1 receptor antagonist with the longest half-life of any of the drugs in this class, which may benefit patients experiencing CINV in the extended, delayed setting, or for multi-day chemotherapy regimens. A newer IV formulation of aprepitant (Emend) without the polysorbate 80 additive in the IV can minimize infusion reactions as well. I also covered recent updates to national CINV guidelines, and presented some challenging case studies.

Another highlight of the conference was the exclusive networking opportunities. With several breaks sprinkled into the agenda, there was ample time to interact with the national expert speakers as well as the exhibitors in the break area. A networking reception concluded the first day of the conference with lots of complimentary food, beer, and wine, and offered time to connect with friends and colleagues. Breakfasts and lunches were provided by either the conference organizers or industry-sponsored events, with gourmet snacks provided during break times.

The conference has received overwhelming positive feedback both years of its existence, and we will continue to seek out the best educational opportunities in a fun and exciting setting for oncology nurses.

We look forward to next year’s conference, which will be held in San Diego, from August 2-3, 2019. SAVE THE DATE!