Clinical researchers from University of British Columbia (UBC), University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Seattle) and Baylor University in Texas conducted research into diversity levels in clinical trials. Their findings raise actual concerns about the effectiveness of drugs in some patients based on homogenous patient pools tapped into and recruited to participate in clinical trials.
Published in JAMA Oncology, the preeminent research centers found a material lack of diversity when it comes to patients that participate in clinical trials.
The researchers reviewed clinical trials involved with U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oncology drug approvals between July 2008 and June 2018. 230 clinical trial were carefully reviewed with a total of 112,293 actual participants.
The team uncovered that less than 8% of cancer trials reported participation from the predominant minority groups within America. They found that African American and Hispanic (Latino) patients were considerably underrepresented at 22% and 44% respectively when factoring in their incidences of cancer.
The researchers also noted that reporting of participation in clinical research by race has changed little in the last decade. Other findings can be accessed at the press release and source study at the link below.
TrialSite News has reported often on the dearth of minority and underrepresented population participation in clinical research. In fact, we published our own survey centering on African American perceptions of clinical trial participation in southeast Texas.
Although, we are monitoring and reporting on significant efforts across the United States to engage minority and underrepresented populations we are also doubtful as to the true impact many of these initiatives have on systematic changes to greater minority and underrepresented group clinical trial participation. Often many of these initiatives amount to public relations outreach and education campaigns which are not the answer—albeit a tool or approach that can be a constituent part of a true answer.
Dr. Jonathan Loree, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, UBC