The authors reviewed changes in accrual to cancer clinical trials over the last 2 decades at their institution with a focus on minority participation after the implementation of a community clinical oncology program (CCOP) and an aggressive, education-orientated minority outreach program (MOP).
Data on patient enrollment in clinical trials for the years 1988 to 2010 was obtained from the William Beaumont Hospital (WBH) Cancer Clinical Trials Office. The type and number of cancers diagnosed and treated during the same period were obtained from the WBH tumor registry data. The MOP was initiated in the fall of 2003 with a focus on culture-specific cancer education.
With the development of the CCOP, clinical trials accrual increased significantly by 10-fold (P = .001). The primary service area for the CCOP consistently averaged an 85% to 90% Caucasian population. During the same period, the minority population for the service area remained stable between 8.8% and 10% and did not change significantly. From 1999 to 2004, the WBH tumor registry data demonstrated that minorities represented 8.6% of cancers registered, whereas the average yearly minority enrollment from 2002 to 2004 was 5.4%. After initiation of the MOP, minority accrual doubled to 11% by 2010 with stable minority demographics.
The current findings support the importance of a CCOP in supporting the accrual of patients to national clinical trials and increasing access to state-of-the art research. These data also strongly support focusing additional energy and educational efforts on targeting minority representation in clinical trials. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.