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Innovative nurse-led research trials are amongst first in UK

Poole Hospital seen from Poole ParkPoole Hospital is amongst the first in the country to undertake nurse-led clinical trials for patients with prostate cancer.

The pioneering clinical trials are led by specialist trained research nurses who run their own clinics offering patient-focused treatments for prostate cancer that might not have been available to them during standard treatment.

Clinical trials can offer the best way to compare different approaches to preventing and treating illness and health problems. Health professionals and patients need the evidence from trials to know which treatments work best.

There are currently two prostate cancer clinical trials being undertaken and led by research nurses at the hospital. The aim of study is to find out which is the best way to use hormone treatment in men having radiotherapy after surgery for prostate cancer and the effect of combining newer treatments with standard hormone treatment.

This innovative approach to nurse-led research trials has received national and international acclaim, with research findings and developments being presented at a number of conferences. Senior research nurse for oncology at Poole Hospital, Roger Wheelwright, lead for the oncology clinical trials, will be presenting at conferences in Liverpool, Birmingham and Turkey.

Roger has also been appointed to the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Prostate Clinical Studies Group with leaders in the field of prostate cancer research.

Roger said: “To be appointed to the NCRI Prostate Clinical Studies Group means that not only have we been able to introduce initiatives at a local level but now we have a senior nurse in this select group we can help implement and support the progress of future prostate clinical trials.

“The introduction of nurse-led research clinics has been well received by patients at the hospital. The clinics further ensure that patients are fully supported throughout their care and that their experience at Poole Hospital remains a positive one.”

A patient currently involved in a clinical trial, Melvin Hull said: “The benefits for me are having regular contact with someone who is always there, not just to do the medical 'stuff' such as blood pressure but also to answer any questions I have, I regularly ask several questions, forget a few and then ask them the next time.

“Knowing Roger is there helps me enormously in respect of allaying any fears I have had during the trial.

“It has had a general effect of easing my fears, increasing my knowledge of cancer and knowing that there is someone there for me.”

“I originally agreed to be part of a trial because I thought 'if it helps someone in the future, then that's got to be good.'

“I just thought I would take the medicine and that would be it. I had no idea of the understanding and care I would receive on a regular basis for someone who shows me that they are there for me, either via hospital visits or anytime via a phone call.”

Date: 4 September 2014

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