OCT 05, 2017 6:25 AM PDT

More Diversity is Needed in Clinical Trials


Clinical trials are vital in cancer research. Drug development can be a slow process, but the need for better cancer treatments is ongoing. Until there is a cure, trials must continue and new options must continually be explored, with no stone unturned. So why are so many trials lopsided in who they include? In a new study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota it was revealed that 83% of participants in cancer clinical trials are white. Cancer can impact certain ethnic groups in different ways, but these groups are grossly underrepresented in trials. Only 6% of participants in clinical trials are African-American despite the fact that blacks have a higher death rate from cancer, shorter survival rates and make up 12% of the population in the United States. Hispanics made up 5.3% and Asians 2.6% with 2.4% being reported as "Other."

The study analyzed enrollment figures from clinicaltrials.gov, the database of all cancer trials conducted in the US from 2003-2016. The elderly were also not well represented, comprising only 36% of enrolled patients. Cultural bias could be part of the reason, but some of it is budget related as well since the funding to recruit patients is a small part of any trial and outreach to these groups tends to cost more. In addition, trials are conducted at major medical centers and sometimes there are not large populations of these groups nearby.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
FEB 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
Group of Migrating Gray Whales Makes a Puget Sound Pitstop
FEB 19, 2021
Group of Migrating Gray Whales Makes a Puget Sound Pitstop
Washington’s Puget Sound is famously home to resident and transient orca pods. However, during their yearly migrat ...
MAR 06, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Find Tectonic Activity on Exoplanet
MAR 06, 2021
Astronomers Find Tectonic Activity on Exoplanet
For the first time, researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland have found evidence of tectonic activity on a ...
MAR 31, 2021
Plants & Animals
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
MAR 31, 2021
Spring Winds Following Warmer Winters Cause Mass Jellyfish Strandings
Beachgoers are certainly not fond of jellyfish in the water, but seeing hundreds of them wash ashore is an interesting a ...
MAY 02, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
MAY 02, 2021
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
Although Venus is our planet’s closest neighbour, its fundamental properties have remained largely unknown. Now th ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
MAY 29, 2021
First Matter in the Universe Flowed Like Tap Water
In two separate studies, researchers led by those at the University of Copenhagen and Queen Mary University of London fo ...
JUL 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
JUL 15, 2021
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
Migrant settlements being exploited for work have been spotted with satellite imagery by researchers led by the Universi ...
Loading Comments...