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Journal Scan
Oncology

African Americans underrepresented in cancer clinical trials

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Despite African Americans having the highest death rate and lowest survival rate for most types of cancer, they are underrepresented in oncology clinical trials, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The retrospective study found that among 61,763 patients enrolled in trials for 75 new oncologic drugs that were eventually approved, only 7.44% were African American. The participation-to-prevalence ratios (, which indicates the percentage of trial participants who are African American and the prevalence of African Americans among people with the disease, was 0.31. A participation-to-prevalence ratio of 1.0 indicates an equal representation of African Americans participating in the clinical trials and African Americans with the disease. Representations are considered similar with participation-to-prevalence ratios between 0.8 and 1.2.

In trials for breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and hematologic cancers underrepresentation was also observed, with PPRs of 0.29, 0.18, 0.15, and 0.12, respectively.

Reference

Hadidi SA, Mims M, Miller-Chism NM, et al. Participation of African American persons in clinical trials supporting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of cancer drugs. Ann of Intern Med. 2020; DOI: https://doi.org/10.7326/M20-0410

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