PADUCAH, Ky. — According to the American Cancer Society, Blacks with cancer in the United States experience more illness, worse outcomes, and premature death when compared with other races with cancer.
Blacks also face greater challenges in preventing, detecting, treating, and surviving cancer, experiencing the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial/ethnic group for most cancers in the U.S.
Lourdes Hospital is working to change those grim statistics in Western Kentucky. It is one of 75 research sites that applied to and was invited by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) invited to take part in a pilot project that aims to increase racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trial participants.
As part of the pilot program, Lourdes hospital will test a research site self-assessment tool and an implicit bias training program focused on increasing racial and ethnic diversity among clinical trial participants.
The site self-assessment tool will help research sites conduct an internal assessment of policies, procedures and programs that may impact which patients are screened for and offered a clinical trial, as well as factors impacting subsequent enrollment and retention. Sites taking part in this program will receive recommendations for specific strategies to implement and improve their performance and have the chance to provide feedback and suggested revisions to enhance the tool.
The implicit bias training program will help research sites acknowledge and lessen the impact of implicit bias across research and care teams related to which patients are offered clinical trials and which choose to participate. It is a virtual, curriculum-based program and includes self-directed and interventional components. Participants’ feedback will be used to enhance the training program.
The pilot project that began this summer will run through October.
ASCO-ACCC notes that this work is part of an initiative to establish evidence-based practical strategies and solutions to advance a vision where every patient with cancer can participate in research, focusing initially on patients who are Black and/or Hispanic/Latinx.
Learn more about available clinical trials at Lourdes Hospital here or by visiting https://www.mercy.com/health-care-services/medical-research-clinical-trials/specialties/cancer-research-trials.
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