Modifying oral cytotoxics: what are the considerations?
It is well known that Australia's population is ageing and that the incidence of cancer is highest in older age groups, so despite the fact that cancer incidence rates in Australia for both men and women are projected to remain stable to 2011.1 the total number of new cases of cancer is projected to increase. To reduce the resulting burden on the health care system it is imperative that patients be treated at home. The introduction of several new oral cytotoxics, allowing the administration of chemotherapeutic agents outside of traditional clinic settings, is making this goal attainable.2 While studies have shown that patients receiving chemotherapy prefer the oral route of administration over the parenteral route, there are many new challenges in administering these agents in non-traditional environments.2,3 Pharmacists, because of their accessibility, have an important role to play in counselling patients on the safe and effective use of these cytotoxics, thus playing a pivotal role in the achievement of favourable therapeutic outcomes for these patients.
The Australian Pharmacist
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