23 May Minorities and Women Underrepresented in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Trials
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kelly Herremans, MD
Lead researcher on the study
Surgical research fellow
University of Florida College of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Pancreatic cancer is a deadly malignancy with an estimated 5-year survival rate of only 9%. Significant racial and ethnic disparities exist in pancreatic cancer. Underrepresentation in the clinical trials that determine safety and efficacy may contribute to these disparate outcomes.
MedicalResearch.com: Are there differences in the incidence, presentation, risk factors or genetics in pancreatic cancer?
Response: According to the SEER cancer database, Black Americans have had a 19% higher incidence of pancreatic cancer when compared to other racial groups over the last two decades. Black patients with PC also experience an increased age-adjusted mortality rate (13.3 versus 11.0 per 100,000 population of all other racial/ethnic groups combined). Additionally, Native American patients have an estimated 5-year survival rate of only 6.7%. These disparities are not entirely accounted for by comorbidities, socioeconomic status and access to high-quality healthcare alone, suggesting that biologic processes may be partially responsible
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Non-white, Hispanic and female patients are underrepresented in pancreatic cancer clinical trials. Though demographic reporting has improved, this underrepresentation has persisted over time and throughout trial phases and sponsors.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Despite improvements in demographic reporting, minority representation in pancreatic cancer clinical trials remains dismal. Increased effort toward diversification and inclusion in pancreatic cancer clinical trials may reduce healthcare disparities.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should be targeted toward why patients of minority backgrounds are underrepresented in pancreatic cancer clinical trials. There is a clear problem in representation, so we need to refocus our efforts in finding how clinical trials may be more inclusive.
Authors have no disclosures.
Dr. Herremans presented data from the study, “Trials and tribulations: Diversity and inclusion in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma clinical trials,” Digestive Disease Week abstract 901, on May 23, 2021.
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