TrialSite News reported in its African American clinical trial participation survey that best practices we have learned from experience on Medicaid-funded community care coordination initiatives could benefit not only minorities and at-risk patients but also all patients participating in clinical trials. We were pleased to see the New York Times raise the topic of patient navigation in the context of clinical trials. The Times noted that when it comes to cancer research less than 5% of total cancer patients actually participate in clinical trials that could actually improve their care. The Times correctly introduces the concept of the patient Navigator: it is time that industry sponsors study other community care coordination models and apply relevant concepts to clinical research.
Susan Gubar reports on this very important topic. Across the U.S. a wide range of fascinating care coordination pilots and initiatives unfold and may include the concept of Patient Navigator. Ms. Gubar, a cancer survivor thanks to a Phase I clinical trial, introduces the challenges with clinical research: that fewer than 5% of adult American cancer patients enroll in clinical studies. She asks why—and answers with a very correct answer: “the baffling scaffolding scientists erect around their studies” and offers the real-life example that many if not most cancer studies preclude the elderly, yet it is exactly this demographic that could benefit!
Follow the link to the New York Times to read Ms. Gubar’s excellence prose.