Precision medicine in oncology: New practice models and roles for oncology pharmacists

Christine Walko, Patrick J. Kiel, Jill Kolesar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose:. Three different precision medicine practice models developed by oncology pharmacists are described, including strategies for implementation and recommendations for educating the next generation of oncology pharmacy practitioners. Summary:. Oncology is unique in that somatic mutations can both drive the development of a tumor and serve as a therapeutic target for treating the cancer. Precision medicine practice models are a forum through which interprofessional teams, including pharmacists, discuss tumor somatic mutations to guide patient-specific treatment. The University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and Moffit Cancer Center have implemented precision medicine practice models developed and led by oncology pharmacists. Different practice models, including a clinic, a clinical consultation service, and a molecular tumor board (MTB), were adopted to enhance integration into health systems and payment structures. Although the practice models vary, commonalities of three models include leadership by the clinical pharmacist, specific therapeutic recommendations, procurement of medications for off-label use, and a research component. These three practice models function as interprofessional training sites for pharmacy and medical students and residents, providing an important training resource at these institutions. Key implementation strategies include interprofessional involvement, institutional support, integration into clinical workflow, and selection of model by payer mix. Conclusion:. MTBs are a pathway for clinical implementation of genomic medicine in oncology and are an emerging practice model for oncology pharmacists. Because pharmacists must be prepared to participate fully in contemporary practice, oncology pharmacy residents must be trained in genomic oncology, schools of pharmacy should expand precision medicine and genomics education, and opportunities for continuing education in precision medicine should be made available to practicing pharmacists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1935-1942
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Clinical
  • Education
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Pharmacy
  • Precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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