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Case Study 3

G.F. is a 54-year-old female scheduled to begin treatment on the LYCHOP-R treatment protocol. The oncologist has indicated that the treatment plan is for 6 to 8 cycles of LYCHOP-R chemotherapy, to be reassessed after cycles 4 and 6. Prior history indicates that G.F. received adjuvant treatment for breast cancer 10 years earlier, using the BRAJAC treatment protocol — full dose chemotherapy for 4 cycles. Her height and weight as well as her laboratory test results are reported from 1 week earlier and are as follows:

Weight: 57 kg Height: 168 cm

WBC

9.9

Bilirubin

5

ANC

6.3

LDH

206

Platelets

392

The medications are ordered as follows:

  • Cyclophosphamide 1200 mg IV on Day 1
  • DOXOrubicin 81 mg IV push on Day 1
  • VINcristine 2.3 mg IV push on Day 1
  • Prednisone 75 mg PO daily on Days 1-5
  • RiTUXimab 611 mg IV on Day 2

1. To what does the term "ANC" refer?

  1. ANC refers to the time after the administration of a myelosuppressive drug in which the lowest cell counts (neutrophils or platelets) are observed in the bloodstream [select]
  2. ANC refers to the absolute neutrophil count and measures the total number of circulating neutrophils [select]
  3. ANC refers to the blood cells that are least affected by myelosuppressive chemotherapy [select]
  4. All of the above [select]

2. Upon your review and assessment of the LYCHOP-R protocol summary and G.F.’s prior chemotherapy treatment, which one of the following statements best describes how you would address her proposed treatment plan?

  1. G.F.’s previous chemotherapy treatment was 10 years earlier and therefore sufficient time has elapsed to disregard any previously administered chemotherapy [select]
  2. G.F. reached her recommended maximum lifetime dose of anthracycline therapy upon completion of her BRAJAC chemotherapy 10 years ago; therefore, her DOXOrubicin dose should be replaced by etoposide 50 mg/m2 IV on Day 1 and 100 mg/m2 PO on Days 2 and 3 [select]
  3. The maximum lifetime dose of anthracyclines should not be a concern since G.F.’s previous chemotherapy was for a different tumour site and this is her first cycle of LYCHOP-R therapy [select]
  4. G.F. will reach the recommended lifetime maximum anthracycline dose prior to completion of her planned 6 to 8 cycles of LYCHOP-R chemotherapy. Confirm with the physician that a cardiac assessment will be performed prior to G.F. reaching her maximum limit [select]

3. Three weeks later, G.F. returns for her second cycle of LYCHOP-R chemotherapy and the physician orders the same drugs and doses to be administered as given in the previous cycle. Her current weight is 55 kg and the laboratory test results, reported from one day earlier, are as follows:

  • WBC 1.6
  • ANC 0.6
  • Platelets 123

Which one of the following statements best describes how G.F. should be treated this cycle of chemotherapy?

  1. Delay treatment. G.F. should return in one week with new laboratory test results (CBC and differential) and treatment should proceed if her ANC is greater than or equal to 1.50 and platelets are greater than or equal to 150 [select]
  2. Proceed with treatment; however, chemotherapy doses should be reduced to 75% of the full dose due to G.F.’s low blood counts. Contact the physician to have new orders written to reflect this dose reduction [select]
  3. Proceed with treatment at full doses as ordered and treat with filgrastim so that G.F.’s WBC count may recover to allow full dose treatment as scheduled. Ensure that the physician has written a filgrastim prescription for G.F., to be filled in a community retail pharmacy [select]
  4. Proceed with treatment at full doses as ordered. Since G.F.’s reported lab results are within 24 hours of her scheduled treatment and her ANC is close enough to the lower treatment limit, it is reasonable to proceed with the chemotherapy as ordered [select]

4. After 8 cycles, the pharmacist receives orders for a 9th cycle of treatment. How should the pharmacist proceed?

  1. Proceed with treatment as ordered, as long as the dose interval and doses ordered are acceptable [select]
  2. G.F. has completed the maximum 8 cycles recommended in the protocol, so the pharmacist should contact the physician and arrange for a rest period before G.F. can continue treatment [select]
  3. G.F. has completed the maximum 8 cycles as recommended in the protocol, so the pharmacist should contact the physician and ask that Compassionate Access Program (CAP) Approval be requested. Approval must be granted before proceeding [select]
  4. Patients starting on the 9th cycle of this protocol can only do so at a 50% dose reduction. The pharmacist should ensure that the orders received reflect this dose reduction, then should proceed as ordered [select]