Blacks & Hispanics Systematically Left out of Lung Cancer Clinical Trials

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A recent multi-institution study reveals, not surprisingly, that Black and Hispanics are systemically underrepresented in lung cancer clinical trials. Lung cancer is a deadly killer that impacts underrepresented populations, such as these minority groups, disproportionately. The author concludes the enhanced minority engagement is required to start turning around this unacceptable trend.

Lung Cancer

The leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S. it surpassed breast cancer by 1987 to become the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. An estimated 154,050 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2018 alone representing 25% of cancer deaths.

The age-adjusted death rate for lung cancer is higher for men (46.7 per 100,000 persons) than for women (31.9 per 100,000 persons). 

Although the gap between whites and blacks closes black still face disproportionate risks. 

Note from Study Authors

Jonathan M Loree, MD, BC Cancer, Vancouver, British Columbia noted: “Racial diversity in clinical trials serves as a metric of societal equality and access to healthcare, while also allowing assessment of biologic differences that may determine differential efficacy of drugs.” Dr. Loree continued “This is particularly important in racially pluralistic societies such as the United States because studies have demonstrated survival differences from cancer by race, even after controlling for socioeconomic and treatment differences.”

The study was published in JAMA Oncology.

Lead Authors

Jonathan M. Loree, MD, BC Cancer, Vancouver, British

Seerat Anand, MBBS, MD Anderson

Arvind Dasari, MD, MD Anderson

Call to Action: TrialSite News principals have extensive experience working with patient recruitment issues. In fact, many years ago we were involved with the largest patient recruitment firm in the United States. More recently we have been intensively involved with community care coordination in underrepresented communities. We recently conducted a survey on African American perceptions of clinical research. Interested in exploring how community care coordination best practices can support diversification in clinical research feel free to contact us.