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- Clinical trials explained
- Health professionals and researchers you may see
Health professionals and researchers you may see
A whole team of people work in clinical trials, and some of their roles overlap. If you join a clinical trial, you may have contact with some of the following people:
- may be a medical oncologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist or haematologist
- supervise your treatment, follow-up and overall care
- usually the coordinating or principal investigator
- also known as researchers
- develops and plans studies, and obtains, analyses and publishes results
- may have a background in medicine, science, psychology, allied health, consumer advocacy or complementary therapies
- the principal investigator has overall responsibility for conducting the trial at their hospital, ensuring patients are safe and that the trial is properly run; is usually a doctor with expertise in the field of research
- the coordinating principal investigator oversees research taking place at more than one study site, e.g. at two or more hospitals
- may be a clinical trials nurse or a clinical research nurse
- coordinates recruitment by talking to potential participants, making sure they are eligible and explaining the purpose of the trial
- arranges appointments for tests, treatments or to see the specialist
- makes sure all paperwork is completed once you have agreed to join a trial
- provides emotional support
- acts as a link between the patient and the researchers or the health care team
- may also be the main contact person
- larger clinical trials or hospitals have a dedicated clinical trials nurse, but smaller ones might not
- may be called a clinical research coordinator or clinical trials coordinator
- has a science degree or similar
- ensures the trial meets ethical and legal requirements
- applies for grants and manages budgets
- reviews the study protocol and organises study records
- may be combined with the nursing role
- a pharmacist will provide advice about medicines and monitor their effect on patients; may conduct laboratory research
- allied health practitioners and complementary therapists may give treatment or advice in studies investigating the use of non-medical treatments such as nutrition, massage, physiotherapy, counselling, or acupuncture
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
A/Prof Andrew Redfern, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Clinical Academic Oncologist, The University of Western Australia, and Lead Clinician, State Breast Cancer Collaborative, WA; Christie Allan, Program Coordinator – Clinical Trials, Cancer Council Victoria; Bronwyn Chalmers, Clinical Trial Coordinator, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, NSW; Sarah Coulson, Coordinator, Oncology Clinical Trials, Projects and Research, Tasmanian Health Service, TAS; Kate Cox, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Annette Cubitt, Clinical Trials Manager, Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Care Services, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Pete Currie, Consumer; Amy Ives, Clinical Trials Coordinator, Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Care Services, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Sabina Jelinek, Clinical Research Nurse, Murdoch Oncology Clinical Trials Unit, WA; Dr Visalini Nair-Shalliker, Research Fellow – Prostate, Cancer Council NSW; Karlie Neilson, Project Officer – Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Prof Mark Rosenthal, Medical Oncologist, and Director, Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, VIC; Joan Torony, CEO, TROG Cancer Research, NSW; Rebecca Weselman, Senior Clinical Trials Coordinator, Oncology Clinical Trials, St John of God Murdoch Hospital, WA; John Williams, Research Governance Officer, Cancer Council NSW.
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