Clinical FeaturesConferenceOncologyPharmacy

European Conference of Oncology Pharmacy (ESOP)

Written by Caoimhe O’Leary, Senior Pharmacist, National Cancer Control Programme & Klaus Meier, President of the European Society of Oncology Pharmacy

The European Society of Oncology Pharmacy (ESOP), founded in 2000 in Prague, is the largest organisation of oncology pharmacists in the world, with a membership of over 4000 members from 66 countries. The overall aim of ESOP is to support optimal treatment for cancer patients.

The 5th European Conference of Oncology Pharmacy (ECOP 5) was recently held in Hamburg from June 30th to July 2nd, 2022. ECOP 5 presented an opportunity to once again have an in-person conference after a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing face-to-face exchange of knowledge and ideas, and the meeting of colleagues from all over the world with an interest in oncology pharmacy.

ECOP 5 included over 30 hours of advanced education, held over 3 days, with keynote lectures, practical and clinical lecture sessions, workshops, scientific symposia, and poster sessions. The target audience for the conference included oncology pharmacists, hospital and community pharmacists, physicians and nurses working in oncology and those working in the pharmaceutical industry with an interest in oncology pharmacy. The aim of ECOP 5 was to equip oncology pharmacy practitioners with knowledge about recent developments in oncology, to advance the effectiveness of healthcare delivery and to increase the quality of patient care.

The programme for the conference was varied, with topics ranging from updates in cancer research and treatment to lectures on recent developments in robotics and automation in aseptic preparation to practice based sessions on drug shortages, complementary and alternative medicine, and the role of pharmacy in CAR T-cell therapy. Some workshop sessions included interactive components, for example, during a workshop session on drug stabilities, the audience were invited to submit answers live on an app during the workshop, with the results of the interactive polls and multiple choice questions displayed on screen. This allowed for audience interaction, and sparked discussion among presenters and attendees.

There were several joint symposia offered between ESOP and other organisations, including symposia with speakers from the European Cancer Patient Coalition, the European Society for Paediatric Oncology, and the International Society of Geriatric Oncology. Updates on ESOP research projects and activities were also presented. Most of the sessions were delivered in English, with a small minority delivered in German. For the German sessions, simultaneous translation via a headset was available, which worked smoothly.

ECOP 5 included two main exhibition areas – an exhibition space for pharmaceutical companies, and a second space for display of posters. The industry exhibition included demonstrations of automated and semi-automated devices for use in aseptic compounding units, including robotic systems for compounding of chemotherapy, and filling devices to reduce the risk of repetitive strain industry. Other booths had clean room equipment and consumables on display, and there was ample opportunity for conference attendees to liaise with industry colleagues.

Over 150 abstracts were chosen by the ECOP 5 Scientific Committee for poster presentation at the conference. The posters covered a broad range of topics in relation to oncology pharmacy, ranging from research to practice based studies. The posters were categorised into several key areas including cytotoxic drug preparation, clinical pharmacy and pharmaceutical care, drug stability and quality management. A section of the poster exhibition was dedicated to “One Day in Oncology Pharmacy” posters. ESOP members had previously been distributed a brief survey which included questions about typical oncology pharmacy work tasks, ranging from dispensing of oral anti-cancer medications, compounding versus outsourcing of parenteral anti-cancer medications, patient counselling etc. For each country that responded to the survey, a liaison for that country had an opportunity to compile results from the surveys received, and to present the findings in a poster. These posters showcased the work carried out in relation to oncology pharmacy in countries across the world.

ECOP 5 also presented an opportunity to develop a network of international colleagues with an interest in oncology pharmacy. The conference schedule, along with organised social events, allowed conference attendees to forge new friendships, share experiences and discuss differences and similarities in oncology pharmacy practice worldwide.

Membership of ESOP offers many benefits, including access to standards and evidencebased materials, opportunity to participate in further education in oncology pharmacy, and the chance to be part of a global community. While most ESOP members work in oncology pharmacy, membership is open to all healthcare professionals with an interest in oncology pharmacy. The membership fee for Irish members in 2022 is ¤5 (per person, per year). If you would like to join ESOP, please contact the Irish liaison for ESOP, Caoimhe O’Leary, at or for general enquiries, contact

Read the September Edition of Hospital Professional News

Read our Latest News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Confirm

This website is only for the eyes of medical professionals. Are you a medical professional?