Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Pharmacy Receives Award, Grant


The Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Pharmacy received the 2012 American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists Best Practice Award. This award is given to six programs nationwide each year, and recognizes pharmacists in health-systems who have successfully implemented innovative systems that improve the quality of patient care and demonstrate best practices in Health-System Pharmacy. Of 54 applicants, the Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Pharmacy at UNC was awarded this distinction for the development of the pharmacy “transition of care” model and the “impact tracker” database.


The transition of care model is one where pharmacists meet with patients on both sides of the transitions of care (pre-admit, at admission, at discharge, and post-discharge) to ensure accurate and optimal medication therapy management and minimization of medication errors. The impact tracker database was developed to assess the impact of pharmacist activities on provider time. The database showed that, on a weekly basis, the work of the two Bone Marrow Transplant pharmacists was associated with 16 hours of time savings for the providers, freeing up time for them to either see new patients or attend to more medically complicated patients.



The pharmacy also received a 2012 Foundation Research Grant from the Hematology Oncology Pharmacists Association (HOPA). This grant is intended to provide support for projects that are likely to result in facilitating the efforts of hematology/oncology pharmacists to optimize the care of individuals affected by cancer.


UNC received a $15,000 grant (one of two grants awarded this year) to develop:


·         a longitudinal patient education tool to guide patients through their transplant course, focusing on medication therapies and supportive care, with a goal of improving patient understanding and comfort with the transplant process, and


·         a database to accurately capture the impact of pharmacist interventions and activities on surrogate clinical outcomes in Stem Cell Transplant patients.


These initiatives will take place over the coming 18 months, with a goal of publishing and presenting these efforts.


Bone Marrow Transplant clinical pharmacists Kamakshi Rao, PharmD, BCOP, CPP (left) and Tippu Khan, PharmD, BCOP, CPP (right) served as the project leaders of the program's recent grants.


Latest Clinical Trials for Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant


Several new clinical trials recently opened at UNC to treat transplant patients.


The first study, CTN 1101, will compare outcomes in patients getting mismatched stem cells from an adult who is only a “half match” versus getting the cells from two umbilical cord cell products. Being able to use either of these cell products effectively will ensure that nearly all patients would have a potential donor for transplantation of diseases like leukemia. Half donors would allow most parents to donate for their children, or children could donate for their parents and ¾ of siblings would be an adequate match for “half matched” transplants. This study is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).


A second study, CTN 0901, will compare the results in leukemia and myelodysplasia patients who undergo transplants with either full dose or reduced doses of chemotherapy to see if the higher relapse rates seen after a lower dose chemotherapy regimen are offset by the lower morbidity and mortality seen with this approach as opposed to using higher, but more toxic doses of chemotherapy with the transplant.This study is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).


A third study sponsored by Glaxo Smith Kline will analyze whether or not the vaccine to prevent shingles can be used safely and effectively in patients who have undergone an autologous transplant for lymphoma or multiple myeloma.


For more information about Bone Marrow and Stem Cell clinical trials at UNC, call 919-966-4432. For more information about clinical trials offered offsite, call 919-966-7359.



More Information


For more information about the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program, including how to refer a patient, visit the program's website.


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For questions about all clinical trials at UNC, contact the UNC Lineberger Protocol Office at 919-966-4432 or (toll-free) 1-877-668-0683. For questions about clinical trials offered at other sites, contact the UNC Cancer Network at 919-966-7359 or (toll-free) 1-877-668-0683.


To make an appointment at the N.C. Cancer Hospital for one of your patients, visit our web page for referring physicians. You may also contact the Carolina Consultation Center at 1-800-862-6264.