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The What and Why of Managing CAR-T Cell Medical Emergencies for Non-Oncology Practitioners


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CAR-T cell therapies have the potential to transform cancer treatment. Their unique toxicities require rapid recognition and specialized treatment. Collaboration between multiple disciplines is needed for the optimal management of patients undergoing CAR-T cell therapy. The purpose of this podcast is to discuss key issues that non-oncology practitioners in acute care settings will need to be familiar with to appropriately treat patients whom underwent CAR-T cell treatment and are experiencing adverse effects related to treatment.


Carolyn OxencisCarolyn Oxencis, PharmD, BCOP, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, and a Hematology/Oncology Clinical Pharmacist at the Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her primary responsibilities include collaborating with the medical oncology interprofessional team to care for patients with solid tumor malignancies. Dr. Oxencis has been a preceptor and mentor for pharmacy residents and pharmacy students for over a decade, and serves as the director for the Hematology/Oncology course at the MCW School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Oxencis received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Iowa, and completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS) from 2010 to 2017, and is currently a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP). Dr. Oxencis serves on the ASHP Council on Therapeutics, and is Immediate Past Chair of the Section Advisory Group on Emerging Sciences. Her professional interests include pharmacogenomics, immuno-oncology, cardio-oncology, and optimizing patient care utilizing patient reported outcomes (PROs) for symptom identification and management.

Jessica ElefritzJessica Elefritz is a Critical Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist who practices in the Hematology/Oncology Medical Intensive Care Unit at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC).  The Hematology/Oncology MICU at OSUWMC is a 24-bed unit dedicated specifically to acute care for patients with hematologic and oncologic malignancies. Dr. Elefritz is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, completed a post-graduate year 1 pharmacy practice residency, and a post-graduate year 2 critical care residency at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  She is also a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist and the Residency Program Director for the post-graduate year 2 critical care residency program at OSUWMC.  In her practice at OSUWMC, Dr. Elefritz cares for patients presenting with toxicities secondary to CART-T cell treatment as well as Immunotherapy and will be able to provide a clinical perspective on identifing and treating these unique patients.  Insitutionally, she collaborated with hematology pharmacists/physicians/nurses in addition to critical care physicians/nurses on developing treatment algorithms for managing toxicities secondary to CAR-T cell treatment.

Brandon ShankBrandon Shank, PharmD, MPH, BCOP, is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and Coordinator of the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice and PGY2 Oncology Pharmacy Residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. His practice area is inpatient and outpatient Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma. Dr. Shank actively presents and publishes in the area of oncology/hematology. He is a co-editor and author for Demystifying Drug Dosing in Obese Patients. He is currently chair of ASHP Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists Section Advisory Group on Emerging Sciences as well as active in the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.

The information presented during the podcast reflects solely the opinions of the presenter. The information and materials are not, and are not intended as, a comprehensive source of drug information on this topic. The contents of the podcast have not been reviewed by ASHP, and should neither be interpreted as the official policies of ASHP, nor an endorsement of any product(s), nor should they be considered as a substitute for the professional judgment of the pharmacist or physician.