1. Section Editor(s): Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

Article Content

I am pleased to present this special Focus Issue of the Journal of Infusion Nursing devoted to oncology. We have collected a select group of articles to augment your knowledge of the latest topics in the specialty. Whether or not you are an oncology nurse or whether or not you work with chemotherapy or biologic therapies, I think that you'll find these articles useful and inspiring.

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The first article, "Building a Clinical Trial Process in Oncology," was developed from a presentation given at the 2011 Fall National Academy of Infusion Therapy. The authors examine how the infusion nurse is uniquely positioned in oncology clinical trials to enhance patient safety and protection through effective use of clinical knowledge and patient assessment and advocacy skills.


Seth Eisenberg, a well-known author and presenter in the oncology specialty, shares his expertise in 2 articles for this issue: one providing an overview on biologic therapy and one detailing the process that Washington State completed to enshrine into law safe handling guidelines for hazardous drugs.


"Evaluation fo Safe Infusion Devices for Antineoplastic Administration" offers an international perspective on cytotoxic safe infusion systems. The study, conducted in France, evaluates the devices regarding occupational exposure, quality of infusion, and economic consequences.


Our fifth article, "Chronotherapeutic Drug Delivery," discusses how our circadian rhythms can be coordinated with cancer drug delivery to enhance effectiveness and mitigate adverse effects by delivering a drug when the system is most susceptible. This review shows that chronotherapy can play a vital role in the quality of life and survival rate for oncology patients.


Nearly lla of us have some connection to someone who has faced cancer. On a personal level, we know the devastation it causes. But as infusion nurses, we know a lot more. We understand the vulnerability of oncology patients-their susceptibility to life-threatening infections, the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, the concerns for family members, as well as financial worries. And the uncertainty. As part of the oncology team, we nurses have the expertise, knowledge, and skills to help ameliorate pain, advocate for our patients, educate both patients and family, and fight for the best possible outcome.


I wish to welcome our guest editor, Mary Magee Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP, BC, AOCN(R), FAAN, president of the Oncology Nursing Society. In her editorial, Dr Gullatte points to the goals outlined in The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,1 which has been referenced many times in these pages since its publication, and notes that its recommendations open the door to new and challenging opportunities for collaboration between our organizations. As we join forces to improve the delivery of cancer care, we'll continue to learn from each other, sharing our expertise and experiences, all while advancing our profession and securing a better future for our patients.


Mary Alexander




1. Institute of Medicine (IOM). The future of nursing: leading change, advancing health. Published October 2010. Accessed July 5, 2012. [Context Link]