While this is not a CLL-specific topic, it is research on a subject that is critical to our mission at CLL Society to be an inclusive organization and encourage diversity in all cancer clinical trials.
Across the country, Blacks represent 13% of the population but only 5% of those in cancer trials. Appropriate levels of enrollment of Black participants to cancer clinical trials remains a major challenge. This abstract reports the results of five years of community outreach in Philadelphia to improve enrollment of Black participants to one institution’s clinical trials.
- In 2014, at baseline, Black residents comprised 19% of the population and 16.5% of cancer cases in the institution’s catchment area surrounding Philadelphia
- Only 11.1% of patients were Black
- The percentages of Black participants accrued onto treatment, non-therapeutic interventional, and non-interventional trials, were 12.2%, 8.3%, and 13.0%, respectively
- A multifaceted bi-directional community-based program was rolled out that reached more than 10,000 individuals
- Venues included churches, neighborhoods, community parks and centers, as well as healthcare centers
- Formats ranged from educational forums to wellness fairs
- In 2018, the percentage of Black patients had increased to 16.2%, matching the percentage of Black cancer patients among all cancer cases in the institution’s catchment area (16.5%)
- Total cancer clinical trial accrual had increased from 9,308 participants in 2014 to 13,170 in 2018 (41.5% increase)
- The percentages of Black participants accrued onto treatment, non-therapeutic interventional, and non-interventional trials were 23.9%, 33.1%, and 22.5%, higher than the percentage of Black cancer patients in the community served
Broad multifaceted community-based efforts can work in improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in cancer research. CLL Society supports such efforts and will be an eager partner in any future programs.
You can find much more detail in this important ASCO 2021 abstract here.
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Stay strong. We are all in this together.
Brian Koffman, MDCM (retired), MS Ed
Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer
CLL Society, Inc.