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Strategies to Increase Inclusion of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Clinical Trials

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As reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice by Regnante et al, the National Minority Quality Forum and Sustainable Healthy Communities Diverse Cancer Communities Working Group identified strategies employed by U.S. Cancer Centers of Excellence that have resulted in increased inclusion of racial and ethnic minority groups in clinical trials.

The Communities Working Group identified U.S. cancer centers with increased success in enrolling racial and ethnic minority groups in cancer clinical trials on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Racial and ethnic minority groups comprise 10% or more of the catchment area
  • A 10% to 50% yearly accrual rate of racial and ethnic minority groups in cancer trials
  • Presence of formal community outreach and diversity enrollment programs.

Leaders of such cancer centers were interviewed in depth to identify practices that facilitate racial and ethnic minority group accrual in clinical trials.

Study Findings

Notable strategies were identified across five broad themes:

  • Commitment and center leadership
  • Investigator training and mentoring
  • Community engagement
  • Patient engagement
  • Operational practices.

Particular key practices included:

  • Increased engagement of health-care professionals
  • Presence of formal processes for obtaining racial and ethnic minority group patient/caregiver input on research projects
  • Engagement of community groups to drive racial and ethnic minority group participation
  • Increase in allocation of resources to improving health disparities and increased dedication of research staff to racial and ethnic minority group engagement.

The investigators concluded, “We have identified notable practices that facilitate increased participation of racial and ethnic minority groups in cancer trials. Wide implementation of such strategies across cancer centers is essential to ensure that all populations benefit from advances in an era of increasingly personalized treatment of cancer.”

Jeanne M. Regnante, of Sustainable Healthy Communities, LLC, is the corresponding author for the Journal of Oncology Practice article.

Disclosure: The study authors' full disclosures can be found at jop.ascopubs.org.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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