Increasing Minority Enrollment Onto Clinical Trials: Practical Strategies and Challenges Emerge From the NRG Oncology Accrual Workshop.

Author(s): Brooks SE,  Muller CY,  Robinson W,  Walker EM,  Yeager K,  Cook ED,  Friedman S,  Somkin CP,  Brown CL,  McCaskill-Stevens W

Journal: J Oncol Pract

Date: 2015 Nov

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): COPTRG

PubMed ID: 26464496

PMC ID: PMC5706134

Abstract: Racial and ethnic diversity has historically been difficult to achieve in National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trials, even while as many as 80% of those trials have faced difficulty in meeting overall recruitment targets. In an attempt to address these issues, NRG Oncology recently convened a comprehensive workshop titled "Clinical Trials Enrollment: Challenges and Opportunities." Discussants at the workshop included representatives of the three legacy groups of the NRG (ie, Gynecologic Oncology Group, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Program, and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group), a minority-based community clinical oncology program, a large integrated health care system, the leadership of the National Cancer Institute, and a large patient advocacy group. This article summarizes the concepts discussed at the workshop, which included: needs assessments, infrastructural support, training of investigators and research staff, specific clinical trial recruitment strategies (both system and community based), and development and mentoring of young investigators. Many new, more specific tactics, including use of diverse cancer care settings, direct-to-consumer communication, and the need for centralized information technology such as the use of software to match trials to special populations, are presented. It was concluded that new, innovative trial designs and the realities of limited funding would require the adoption of effective and efficient recruiting strategies, specialized training, and stakeholder engagement. US clinical research programs must generate and embrace new ideas and pilot test novel recruitment strategies if they are to maintain their historic role as world leaders in cancer care innovation and delivery.