With APP Help, Cancer Clinical Trials No Longer a ‘Last-Ditch’ Option


Advanced practice providers can lead clinical teams and patients to boost oncology clinical trial enrollment, a nurse practitioner explained.

Advanced practice providers can be instrumental in leading a clinical team for patient clinical trial enrollment, according to Carlie Stott, NP.

Stott, who is a nurse practitioner specializing in medical oncology at Ochsner Health MD Anderson Cancer Center, presented an abstract at the 49th Annual ONS Congress on how advanced practice providers could be leaders in the clinical trial space and develop tools to help boost patient involvement.

Her intervention put advanced practice providers in the navigation role. They educated patients that clinical trials are an option from the very beginning of treatment and are not a last resort—a misconception she said was common before the launch of the tool.

In addition to patient education, Stott emphasized the importance of involving other clinicians in the process as well.

“We have a social worker who can assist us we have different doctors with different sub-specialties that can help provide if we didn't have a clinical trial for them, we could help provide that standard-of-care recommendations if it was a difficult case,” Stott said in an interview with Oncology Nursing News®. “Then we have other APRNs, we have our clinical research nurses, and assistants that they could provide their input from the standpoint of eligibility criteria and how that patient could be enrolled.”

After the implementation of these programs, Stott mentioned that more patients tend to be aware that clinical trials may be a viable option. Additionally, she said that clinicians outside of the tumor board are also starting conversations about trials earlier in the process.

“They can have those conversations with their patients earlier so that it doesn't seem like a last-ditch effort when it comes up in a conversation maybe later down the line,” Stott said. “We're always bringing it up and making it seem like a good option because the [National Comprehensive Cancer Network] guidelines, they do want us to consider clinical trials for patients.”

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