Review Article

Incorporating Clinical Trial Data Into Daily Cancer Care

Jody Pelusi, PhD, FNP, AOCNP®

From Arizona Oncology–Sedona, US Oncology, Sedona, Arizona

Jody Pelusi has served on nurse speakers bureaus for Amgen, MPI, Novartis, Celgene, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, and Eisai.

Correspondence to: Jody Pelusi, PhD, FNP, AOCNP®, PO Box 6330, Glendale, AZ 85314. E-mail: jody.pelusi@usoncology.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2012;3:378–384 | DOI: 10.6004/jadpro.2012.3.6.3 | © 2012 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

The objective of clinical trials is to determine the effectiveness and safety of specific interventions. Regulatory agencies, clinicians, and patients depend on clinical trials because they provide the most reliable information about treatment outcomes. The ability to predict how a patient may respond to a given treatment and what potential types, degree, and frequency of adverse events could occur is invaluable. Although data from clinical trials can determine effective treatment options for patients, it is the explanation of what to expect from treatment and how it may affect quality of life that will determine which option a patient chooses. Translating clinical trial data into “real life” can be challenging for the oncology advanced practitioner (AP) because primary and secondary endpoints may differ among clinical trials. This variability can produce confusion when comparing, contrasting, and translating clinical evidence into clinical practice. This article reviews clinical trial endpoints and surrogate markers and describes how findings can influence decision-making and patient care. With social media increasing patients’ awareness and encouraging active participation in their own care, it is imperative that APs be able to articulate clinical trial outcomes along with their strengths, limitations, and life impact.




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