A five-year community outreach and engagement effort by the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania (ACC) to increase enrollment of Black patients into cancer clinical trials more than doubled the percentage of participants, improving access and treatment for a group with historically low representation in cancer research. The percentage of patients enrolled into a treatment clinical trial, for example, increased from 12 to 24 percent. A significant increase was also observed in non-therapeutic interventional and non-interventional trials.
“We’ve shown here that a multifaceted, community-based engagement initiative works to improve access to cancer clinical trials by Black patients with cancer,” said first author Carmen E. Guerra, MD, MSCE, FACP, an associate professor of Medicine and associate director for Diversity and Outreach in the ACC. “We will continue to work with collaborators such as Lazarex that share in our vision to increase participation of underrepresented patients in trials, while at the same time engage with the community to develop strategies that address needs and barriers, from different social determinants of health to solidifying their trust.”
Penn co-authors include Vicki Sallee, Wei-Ting Hwang, Brenda Bryant, Armenta L. Washington, Samuel U. Takvorian, Robert Schnoll, Karen Glanz, Roger B. Cohen, and Katherine L. Nathanson.