Racial Disparities in Oncology Clinical Trials

A new study in JAMA Oncology reports the existence of racial disparities in clinical trials leading to cancer drug approvals from 2008-2018. The authors state that blacks (22% of expected proportion) and Hispanics (44% of expected proportion) were underrepresented in these trials relative to their proportion among the US cancer population.

Figure 1, Part C: The absolute number of patients of races other than white who participated in pivotal trials leading to FDA approval was considerably low. From: Loree JM, Anand S, Dasari A, et al. Disparity of Race Reporting and Representation in Clinical Trials Leading to Cancer Drug Approvals From 2008 to 2018. JAMA Oncol. Published online August 15, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.1870

Back in 2004, a study published in JAMA indicated that racial and ethnic minorities, women, and the elderly were less likely to enroll in cooperative group cancer clinical trials than were whites, men, and younger patients, respectively. A more recent ProPublica examination showed that black people and Native Americans are under-represented in clinical trials of new drugs, even when the treatment is aimed at a type of cancer that disproportionately affects them.

Dr. Mona Fouad suggests that one possible strategy to increase minority participation in clinical trials may be patient navigators. A 2016 study she co-authored on patient navigation demonstrated that the patient navigation model “holds promise as a strategy to reduce disparities in cancer clinical trial participation” and that “future studies should evaluate it with racial/ethnic minorities across cancer centers.”

Three Questions for our Librarians – Marina Chilov

In this post we posed our three questions to Research Informationist Marina Chilov.

1. What areas can you help MSK users with?
I’m a Research Informationist and I assist our users by providing reference and research support. I answer reference questions, conduct literature searches, collaborate with MSK researchers on Systematic Reviews, and teach classes on biomedical resources such as PubMed and citation management tools such as EndNote.

2. What projects have you been working on recently?
I’m also part of the Evidence-based Cancer Imaging Program (ECIP) team that is preparing for the implementation of the PAMA mandate at MSK. Recently, I developed literature searches aimed at finding evidence on the appropriate diagnostic imaging modalities for several clinical conditions assigned by the clinicians on the team.

3. What is your favorite meal?
I’m a vegetarian and among all the vegetarian options I favor simple, unsophisticated food. I love potatoes in all forms – mashed, baked, roasted, etc. And ice cream is my top dessert priority. In my world, ice cream is the culmination of human thought as far as food goes.

Demystifying the Systematic Review Process Workshop – Register Now!

We have 3 seats available for our “Demystifying the Systematic Review Process” workshop on Friday, July 12, 8:30am-11:45am. If you’re thinking of working on a systematic review at MSK, this comprehensive workshop is a great place to start.

Learn more and please register to attend.

Want to learn more about the MSK Library’s Systematic Review Service? Check out our guide.