Highlights of the JADPRO Live 2021 Educational Conference


Roseanne Dimarco, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP

Roseanne Dimarco, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP
Ambulatory Oncology Pharmacist
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Philadelphia, PA

The JADPRO (Journal of the Advanced Practitioner of Oncology) Live 2021 educational conference took place virtually October 7-17. This was the ninth annual meeting of the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO). Over 1200 advanced practitioners (APs) - nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, clinical nurse specialists, and other oncology healthcare professionals participated. This year’s theme, “New Paths to Patient Care,” focused on delivering quality and equitable care to all patients, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 30 continuing education credits, as well as several networking events were provided.

The conference kicked off with the “Opening Panel Discussion on Innovations Worth Keeping After COVID-19: Positive Practice Changes After the COVID-19 Pandemic,” led by JADPRO Live Conference Chair, R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, BCOP, FCCP, FHOPA from the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. The panel included Aaron Begue, MS, RN, NP-C from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Caleb Raine, PA-C from the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, and Robin Yabroff, PhD, MBA from the American Cancer Society1 and discussed how healthcare teams had to evolve to continue providing quality patient care during the pandemic. Several innovative practice changes were presented including initiation of daily staff huddles and robust patient triage processes, as well as implementation of telemedicine and flexible staffing schedules.

Oncology Pharmacists presented several topics, including:

  • “Mental Health in the Oncology Setting: General Considerations and Treatment Tips” by Lisa Goldstone, MS, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP from the USC School of Pharmacy2
    • As oncology practitioners, how do we know when to treat our patients or refer to a mental health specialist? Dr. Goldstone presented a quick way to determine who is a candidate for management by their oncology care team.
      • If a patient has symptoms that indicate depression, anxiety, and or/insomnia, and they have not failed to respond to at least 2 adequate trials of therapy, then we can consider managing. However, if a patient has acute or severe symptoms and has failed more than 2 adequate trials of medication, we should refer to a mental health specialist for further treatment.
  • “New Drug Updates: Hematologic Malignancies” by Kirollos S. Hanna, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP from M Health Fairview and Mayo Clinic College of Medicine3
    • Between October 2020 and September 2021, there were 15 FDA approvals in hematologic malignancies, including 4 cellular therapy approvals.
      • Brexucabtagene autoleucel (Tecartus):  relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma
      • Lisocabtagene maraleucel (Breyanzi): relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma
      • Axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta): relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma
      • Idecabtagene vicleucel (Abecma): multiple myeloma
  • “New Drug Updates: Solid Tumors” by Christine Cambareri, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, CSP from the University of Pennsylvania4
    • Between October 2020 and September 2021, there were 32 FDA approvals in solid tumor oncology, including several novel therapies.  
      • Margetuximab-cmkb (Margenza) is an anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody with an engineered Fc region that is thought to increase immune activity in vitro compared to trastuzumab. It is approved, in combination when chemotherapy, for metastatic HER2+ breast cancer patients who have received 2+ prior anti-HER2 regimens, at least one of which was for metastatic disease. Black box warnings include left ventricular dysfunction and embryo-fetal toxicity.
      • Dostarlimab-gxly (Jemperli) is a PD-1 monoclonal antibody indicated for patients with dMMR recurrent or advanced endometrial cancer who have progressed on or following prior treatment with a platinum containing regimen. Common side effects include fatigue, asthenia, nausea, diarrhea, and laboratory abnormalities.

Professional Development and Mental Health were hot topics this year with presentations on “Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Recognizing Burnout and Simple Tips to Start Feeling Better” by Margaret Leddy, PA-C from Duke University Health System5. Ms. Leddy’s 3 simple tips included writing down three good things within two hours of bedtime for two weeks, identifying our core values and using these values to guide decision making, and practicing mindfulness meditation throughout the day. The virtual Wellness Lounge was an interactive feature with healthy recipes, yoga and strength training videos, meditation videos, and puzzles intended to give participants a refreshing break from the scheduled programming.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) was a large part of this year's conference starting with the Keynote Interview, “Engaging Patients as Empowered Partners in Health Equity Transformation.” This was an eye-opening discussion between Amy Pierre, MSN, ANP-BC from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Flatiron Health and Maimah Karmo, the Founder and CEO of the Tigerlilly Foundation. The Tigerlilly Foundation was established after Maimah’s stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis and has a mission to educate, advocate for, empower, and support young women, before, during and after breast cancer6. During this interview, Maimah discussed how advanced practitioners can reduce healthcare disparities and improve outcomes by staying humble, listening to our patients, and gaining their trust. By remembering that our patients need to feel safe with us and allowing them to be vulnerable, we can better understand our patients and improve their experiences throughout the cancer journey. When asked how we can improve enrollment of minorities in clinical trials, Maimah recommends that advanced practitioners remember “relationships before recruitments.” When we have strong relationships with our patients, we can meet patients where they are, and can help improve their understanding of clinical trials.

Other DEI presentations included an interactive panel discussion “A Call to Action: The Role of the Oncology AP in Equitable Cancer Care” led by Brianna Hoffner, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP® from Harborside, Josh Epworth, ARNP from the University of Washington Medical Center, Beth Faiman, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN®, FAAN from the Cleveland Clinic, and Soumya J. NIranjan, BPharm, MS, PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and “Race, Social Determinants of Health, and Cancer: How Can APs Address and Improve Patient Outcomes?” by Rose DiMarco, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Lisania I. Milli, MSN, WHNP-BC from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center7. During this presentation, several ways to improve patient outcomes were discussed, such as encouraging healthy lifestyles, smoking cessation, and preventative cancer screenings, as well as professional development recommendations, including practicing cultural humility and assessing and reducing our own implicit bias.

The Mary Pazdur Award was presented to Allyson Price, PA-C, from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, for her dedication to treating patients with leukemia. Allyson was recognized for her passion for clinical research and for her fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

The JADPRO Article of the Year was awarded to Sandra E. Kurtin PhD, ANP-C, AOCN® and Rashida Taher, MPH, PA-C for their article entitled “Clinical Trial Design and Drug Approval in Oncology: A Primer for the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology.” This article provides a summary of key elements involved in clinical trial development and the drug approval process and an overview of how to interpret study results8.

Finally, the clinical poster hall had 21 posters covering a range of topics with the Outstanding Poster Award going to “Clinical Poster JL910: Implementation and Impact of an Advanced Practice Provider-Led Bedside Procedural Team at a Major Cancer Institution” presented by Caitlin Treacy, MS, AGACNP-BC Yulia Kit, PA-C, Laura C. Kounev, MSN, FNP-C, and Marie K. Marte, MA, ANP-BC, AOCNP®. In addition, there were also 13 encore posters available for review as well as an Exhibit Hall with over 15 supporter booths.

JADPRO Live 2022 will be held in Aurora, Colorado on October 20-23. For more information, visit


  1. Harvey, R., Begue, A., Raine, C., Yabroff, R. Opening Panel Discussion on Innovations Worth Keeping After COVID-19: Positive Practice Changes After the COVID-19 Pandemic. Presented at JADPRO Live, October 7, 2021.
  2. Goldstone, Lisa. Mental Health in the Oncology Setting: General Considerations and Treatment Tips. Presented at JADPRO Live, October 8, 2021.
  3. Hanna, K. New Drug Updates: Hematologic Malignancies. Presented at JADPRO Live, October 9, 2021.
  4. Cambareri, C. New Drug Updates: Solid Tumors. Presented at JADPRO Live, October 14, 2021.
  5. Leddy, M. Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Recognizing Burnout and Simple Tips to Start Feeling Better. Presented at JADPRO Live, October 8, 2021.
  6. Tigerlily Foundation. (2021, July 20). Retrieved November 16, 2021, from
  7. DiMarco, R & Milli, L. Race, Social Determinants of Health, and Cancer: How Can APs Address and Improve Patient Outcomes? Presented at JADPRO Live on October 17, 2021.
  8. Kurtin, S., & Taher, R. (2020, November). Clinical trial design and drug approval in oncology: A Primer for the advanced practitioner in oncology. Clinical Trial Design and Drug Approval in Oncology: A Primer for the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology - JADPRO. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from,-number-7-(sepoct-2020)/clinical-trial-design-and-drug-approval-in-oncology-a-primer-for-the-advanced-practitioner-in-oncology.aspx.