The Cancer Research UK nursing team
The specialist nurses at the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Unit care for cancer patients participating in early phase cancer clinical trials.
Jac Samuel, senior nurse - CRUK nursing team
Jac heads a team of ten cancer research nurses within the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and Cancer Research UK Centre, and is a key contact for more information about current cancer trials in Southampton.Read full profile
Enabling access to new treatments
Working with Southampton’s cancer scientists and doctors to give cancer patients access to new treatments through clinical trials, the specialist nurses work to ensure seamless provision of care to all oncology patients.
They liaise closely with the multi-disciplinary cancer care teams at various hospitals locally, nationally and internationally, and attend oncology outpatient clinics to ensure that all cancer care patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials if appropriate.
Key roles in patient care
These nurses have a pivotal role in coordinating patient care; they liaise closely with many other departments and act for patients to ensure that their participation in the trial is a positive experience.
Patients are seen and treated by the nurses in the oncology clinics and also within the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility.
Supporting immune-based approaches
The nursing team supports the centre’s work to build upon its expertise in immunotherapy, taking new treatments for solid and haematological (blood) cancers from the laboratory into the clinic.
The team collect tissue samples from patients to enable cancer researchers to better understand cancer and develop projects that could lead to new treatments. Once new treatments are ready for trial, the nursing team provide expertise in developing trials from the initial idea to the publication of results.
The team conduct all the phase one and two academic and commercial oncology clinical trials in Southampton, together with a number of commercial phase three trials. You can find an explanation of the different phases of clinical trials here.
A wide range of studies
The portfolio of studies covered involves new treatments, such as vaccines, immunotherapies and new ways of using existing chemotherapy. Many of the studies are first-in-man, meaning that they have never been used in humans before. Because of this, the team’s skill set is highly specialised, extending to psychological support, providing a rounded approach of patient care.
There are between 40 and 50 active studies across different types of cancer at any one time. The nursing team all have an extensive oncological knowledge, with each nurse specialising in a specific type of cancer.
Due to the nature of the trials, the recruitment numbers of patients involved may be small and the nursing interventions intensive. To support the smooth process of setting up and implementing the oncology clinical trials, the team also work with a data coordinator, administrative assistant and four data managers.