MPN Hero Advocates For Patients Enrolled In Clinical Trials

Kurt Schroeder, a research nurse, pushes for a patient-first mentality, especially as they participate in a clinical trial.

When asked why he likes working with patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), Kurt Schroeder, RN, responded with “I like working with my people.”

Schroeder, a research nurse at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, advocates for patients amid researchers that sometimes forget they are dealing with people. Those efforts were recognized during the 2019 MPN Heroes® ceremony where he was awarded for his patient advocacy work.

At the event, CURE® had the chance to speak with Schroeder about how he makes sure patients enrolled in clinical research are given the proper treatment and, in one instance, had their treatment altered as needed to limit side effects.


Other particulars of some of the studies include common medications. Sometimes the QT interval medications someone will pull that out of the air, it seems like some of the medications shouldn't necessarily probably be on the list because we’ll take transfusion requirements.

For instance, a lot of facilities where physicians will pretreat the patients before they get a transfusion with Benadryl — and Benadryl on some of the sites is listed as a QTC medication which could affect with a patient's heartbeat, but they exclude it by the protocol by a list of prohibited medications.

So I've discussed with the physician investigator before about adjusting the medication list or maybe the Benadryl could have a particular dose that they're allowed to have, and beyond that, then that dose would be excluded. So it makes it a little bit less disruptive and has less deviations to the study if they update the list.