Toward Achieving Equity in Cancer Clinical Trials
- Amanda Bridges
- February 1, 2023
- Diversity & Inclusion
“Racial and ethnic minorities who are traditionally underrepresented in clinical trials have also had worse clinical outcomes over time. Black patients, for example, have a clinical trial enrollment rate of 4%-6% despite representing 15% of the population and have the highest overall cancer death rate. It has been established that numerous barriers to clinical trial participation exist at the system, provider, and patient levels. Despite abundant research identifying these barriers, disparities in trial participation have been worsening over time, highlighting the need for more evidence-based interventions …
Finally, it is also important to acknowledge that a significant reason for the imbalanced representation of minority patients in clinical trials is the disparity in access to tertiary cancer and National Cancer Institute–designated centers who offer these trials. This is primarily due to spatial (minority patients are less likely to live in urban areas where most trial-offering centers are located) and socioeconomic barriers (affordability and health insurance). Also pertaining to the latter point, minority patients are also less likely to have health insurance and often times receive care in the emergency department from providers who are less familiar and unconcerned with enrolling them into clinical trials.
The imbalanced representation of patients from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in cancer research has been extensively studied and documented. The authors of this study are performing the critical next step of seeking effective, feasible interventions to thoughtfully address this problem. “
Carmen Guerra et al.
Nadine J. Barrett et al JCO Oncology Practice