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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center opens mentoring program for patients considering clinical trials

Jan. 27, 2006, 7:49 AM

Thanks to



Center ‘s new Clinical Trials Mentor Program, patients considering enrolling in a clinical trial can now ask questions and get first-hand accounts from patient advocates who have already gone through the process.

The Clinical Trials Mentor Program offers training to cancer survivors or family members of survivors to help them learn how to discuss the basics of clinical trials and express their experiences with new patients and potential clinical trial participants. Currently, there are five trained mentors in the program.

Karen Stroup, Ph.D., manager of Patient Advocacy at Vanderbilt-Ingram, said the program was created based on feedback from previous patients.

“Patients have said this is what they want and need. You get all the information you need about clinical trials from a doctor or nurse, but what you don’t get is anything from another patient who has been where you are,” said Stroup.

Potential clinical trial participants will be matched with a mentor in the program based on their type of cancer and personal needs. The mentor will contact the patient by phone and offer a first-hand account of what going through a clinical trial is all about. Mentors are trained to refer patients to a nurse at Vanderbilt-Ingram for any information they are not trained to discuss or questions they can’t answer.

Vanderbilt-Ingram would like to see the program grow and hopes to have dozens of volunteers working as mentors. Mentors are asked to complete a short training program, and cancer survivors must be at least one year out of treatment to become a mentor to other patients.

To find out how to become a mentor or be matched with one, or for more information about clinical trials at Vanderbilt-Ingram, call Stroup at: (615) 936-1072 or e-mail: You can also visit




Center at




Center is dedicated to a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to cancer care, research, prevention, and patient and community education. With nearly 300 investigators, Vanderbilt-Ingram is ranked among the top 10 centers in total research funding from the National Cancer Institute and generates more than $150 million each year in research support from public and private sources. Vanderbilt-Ingram is the only






Center in
Tennessee and one of only 39 to achieve this distinction nationwide. The center is consistently recognized among the best places for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit us online at

Media Contact: Heather L. Hall
Office: (615) 936-7245
Pager: (615) 835-7342

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