Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) clinical trial nurses require a special combination of attributes as a group caring for patients enrolling in first-in-human clinical trials. After all, these are the studies where a new drug is being administered in people for the first time — this type of activity benefits from a strong human relationship and level of trust. 

Recently, MSK’s Heather Graham wrote an article about this special role employed at MSK—the clinical trials nurse for Phase I first-in-patient clinical trials. Kristen Clemens is one such nurse at MSK, as is Stephanie Hicklin. Becoming a clinical trials nurse represents an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding careera detailed oriented, methodical and committed healthcare profession with high emotional intelligence and communication capabilities used for the critically important nurturing and development of the relationship with patients that are needed to establish a foundation for the required trust necessary for Phase I studies. Some of Ms. Clemens and Ms. Hicklin’s day was followed for those interested to learn more about this role at MSK. 

MSK Clinical Trials

MSK clinical trials represent in the aggregate, medical progress itself. After all, nearly every cancer treatment in use today has come about because of a clinical trial. MSK runs one of the largest clinical trial programs for cancer in the United States—and for that matter—the world. Patients participating in clinical trials at MSK receive the most advanced cancer treatment available in the nation—and in many cases, patients are receiving early access to advanced therapies—sometimes years before these therapies are offered to the market.

An Important Hub of Cancer Care

Today the MSK includes 498 inpatient beds, a 72,000 square-foot surgical center, and a state-of-the-art treatment hub for outpatient procedures.

With 1,228 attending physicians and 3,905 nurses, the center overall supports 24,243 inpatient stays and 776,546 outpatient visits from 2018. US News & World Report ranked MSK as one of the two hospitals for cancer care in the country for more than 25 years and among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals for cancer care. Within the New York City metropolitan area, with over 20 million residents, MSK physicians are recognized most by the 2019 Best Doctors issue of New York magazine.

Patient Care

MSK organizes itself into patient care teams, where over a dozen multidisciplinary cancer care teams combine expertise and collaborate to ensure the best possible treatment. MSK includes on these teams the required expertise from oncologists and radiation oncologists to radiologists and pathologists to psychiatrists and nurses. MSK physicians are among the best in the nation—with a depth and breadth of experience hard to matchthey diagnose and treat more than 400 different subtypes of cancer in any given year.

Research Programs

MSK organizes clinical research by program and center, including the Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Hospital ResearchCollaborative Research Centers (many) and Extramural Collaborations. Check out their website for more information in the category or area of interest.

MSK Business Note

MSK is a world-class operation generating $4.9 billion in revenue in 2018. About $334 million of the total would be associated with contracts and grants. Undoubtedly these numbers will only rise.

Source: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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