Background

While nearly twenty percent of adults are eligible, cancer clinical trial (CCT) accrual in the United States lingers around five percent. Participation rates are significantly lower among racial/ethnic minorities and the medically underserved, who are likely to have poorer outcomes than the larger population. As the burden of forging medical milestones should be equally withstood, CCT participation is increasingly a concern of healthy equity and social justice among racial/ethnic minorities. This program proposes a promising strategy for engaging physician-oncologists and communities to stream-line clinical trial awareness, access and accrual of racial/ethnic minorities in a culturally-sensitive manner.

Methods

This study recruited 40 community and academic-research sites to provide CCT education days at a local, large, pre-dominantly African American church congregation, (N=253) participants, over one-year. Pre/post-testing of general clinical trial knowledge was conducted each-day. CCT education included a 3-patient panel-discussion of their trial experiences. Four physician-oncologists provided expertise on the significance of minority representation in CCTs. The physician-oncologists discussed the types of CCTs that were locally available for specific-types of cancer. Expected result was provision of recruitment opportunities of potentially-eligible participants for CCTs and address gaps in CCT knowledge.

Results

Participants (N=253) were: (75%) African-American, (13%) Hispanic/Latino, (2%) American Indian/Alaskan Native, (6%) Asian, and (2%) Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Pre-survey (N=104) responses included: How much do you know about clinical research?; a lot (23%), general sense (51%), very-little (21%), never heard of it, (3%). Thirty-eight percent had prior research participation. Post survey (N=171) responses, participants indicated: would very likely (51%) and somewhat-likely (41%) participate in a CCT if invited by doctor. An additional (3%) were somewhat-unlikely or very-unlikely (6%) to participate in CCT if invited by doctor. Post-survey, cited reasons for not participating in CCT: never invited to participate (28.5%); lack of information about trials (16.5%); didn’t know who to talk to about trials (6.5%); worried about my rights (1%); hassle of participation (2%); insurance (2%); worried about health risk (6.5%); other (6.5%); no reply (30.5%).

Conclusions

Physician invitation to participate was the most notable factor in CCT accrual. Incorporating physician engagement strategies as part of the trial design to directly connect with under-represented groups in CCTs provides an opportunity to assess patient knowledge, encourage education before participation and address any reservations about participating in research.

Citation Format: Jameisha B. Brown, Claudia R. Baquet, Aime T. Franco. Impact of direct physician engagement with racial/ethnic minorities for oncology clinical trial access and accrual model [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr LB-001. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-LB-001