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An expanded role for clinical coordinators in investigator initiated clinical trial research



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Clinical research is conducted to advance human medicine by developing efficacious treatments and improving patient outcomes when new therapies are developed and implemented. Clinical trials are a subset of the types of clinical research conducted on human volunteers in the development of new drugs, devices and other therapies. Prior to the start of a trial, a country’s regulatory authority must review the trial to ensure it is scientifically and ethically sound. In Canada, the regulatory authority is Health Canada. The International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) of technical requirements for the registration of pharmaceutics for humans aims to provide ethical and scientific quality standards for design, conduct, data collection and reporting in clinical trials. The Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Guidelines were created by the ICH Steering Committee to assure the public that rights, safety and well being of subjects are protected according to the Declaration of Helsinki, and the clinical data obtained in a ICH/GCP compliant clinical trial will meet regulatory requirements. Health Canada has adopted the ICH/GCP Guidelines and therefore, in Canada, all clinical trials involving humans must comply with these Guidelines. The clinical trial coordinator is an important and central position on the research team executing many trial duties and communications. Regulatory authorities, Research Ethics Boards and the sponsor, overlook the role and responsibilities of a highly trained clinical coordinator, despite their vital and central position. The GCP Guidelines also fail to address the role and responsibilities of a clinical coordinator. Disconnect between guidelines, regulatory expectations and actual trial conduct provides an apparent need to formalize and clearly define the role and scope of a clinical coordinator. The Registered Nurse (RN) brings professionalism, knowledge, skill and a holistic perspective to the expanded role of a clinical coordinator and to the clinical trial. Highly trained health professionals are capable of assuming more responsibilities and executing clinical trial design, setup and management as compared to the traditional administrative roles of the clinical coordinator. The expanded role of the clinical coordinator is especially beneficial for Principal Investigator initiated trials due to limited research personnel and resources. Postoperative adhesions are a common complication following pelvic surgery, therefore, this clinical trial is relevant and a response to a healthcare need. My graduate studies focused on the development and set up of the clinical trial Protocol ADE002-2013 Phase I Trial of L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine for the Reduction of Peritoneal Adhesions in Adult Females Undergoing Myomectomy. My thesis is a discussion of general Canadian clinical trial research information followed by an explanation of how we executed the information to design and set up our PI initiated clinical trial. The value of the expanded role of the clinical coordinator as a member of the research team will also be discussed.



Clinical research, Registered Nurse, Clinical Coordinator, investigator-initiated clinical trials, good clinical practice, adhesions



Master of Science (M.Sc.)




Health Sciences


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