The research team includes a number of different people and you will probably meet the following:

  • doctors - this could be the consultant clinician, specialist registrars and research fellows
  • research nurses and clinical trial practitioners

The research team may also include data managers and clinical trial assistants, although you may not meet them.

The Research Nurse/Clinical Trial Practitioner

During a trial, you are likely to have the most contact with your research nurse or clinical trial practitioner. Their role is to coordinate your care while you are on the trial and act as your key contact.  This includes organising investigations and taking blood samples.

The research nurse or clinical trial practitioner will provide you with information about the trial and answer any questions you may have. They are there to support both you and your family.

Depending on the type of trial you take part in, some research nurses also give drug treatments.

A Clinical Trial Practitioner performs much the same role as a research nurse but will delegate certain clinical tasks to other members of the team. They are not nurses and usually come from a science background and have specialist training in cancer research.

Below is a short film which features members of the research team here at the UCLH Cancer Clinical Trials Unit and provides information on the work that they do.