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Authors

  1. Wood, Laura RN, MSN, OCN

Abstract

Cancer treatment options are changing as a result of extensive research efforts. New drugs and drug combinations proceed through specific phases of clinical research leading to possible Food and Drug Administration review and approval. Phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials have detailed enrollment criteria and treatment plans designed to determine research objectives. These objectives can include reduction of toxicity, increased efficacy, and improved quality of life. Liposomal drug formulations, monoclonal antibody therapies, and cytoprotective agents are some of the new treatment approaches that have shown promise in clinical trials. This article reviews the clinical trial process, several innovative therapies, and the nursing responsibilities associated with caring for the patient with cancer.