ASCO-ACCC pilots test tools to diversify cancer clinical trials
The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Association of Community Cancer Centers have announced plans to test a research site assessment tool and implicit bias training program, both designed to overcome one of the hurdles participation in clinical trials: trials that are not routinely offered by eligible patient clinicians.
As an extension of their collaboration to increase participation in clinical trials in patients from under-represented racial and ethnic groups, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) announced today they plan to test a research site assessment tool and implicit bias training program, both designed to overcome one of the barriers to participating in clinical trials: trials that are not routinely offered by clinicians to eligible patients.1
This work is part of an ASCO-ACCC initiative to establish practical, evidence-based strategies and solutions to help increase the participation of historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups in cancer treatment trials. The collaboration, which is led by ASCO-ACCC Steering Group Co-Chairs, Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, and Past ACCC Chair Randall A. Oyer, MD, launched in July 2020 with a request for ideas to the oncology community looking for innovative innovations to address this barrier.
“People with cancer and survivors have told us that having a clinician discussing a clinical trial is the most important factor for patients considering participating,” said Dr. Pierce. “Providing patients with all care and treatment options empowers them throughout their cancer treatment and helps them stay fully informed about their health. Increasing the diversity of trial participants further improves the applicability of clinical trial results to diverse populations. “
ASCO and ACCC are currently recruiting over 40 oncology research sites to be part of a pilot project to test the Site Assessment Tool and / or Implicit Bias training program. This initial phase will focus on the screening and participation outcomes of Black and / or Hispanic / Latin American patients. The assessment tool will primarily assess structural and procedural site factors that may impact screening and patient engagement. The training will be a curriculum-based program, combined with intervention exercises for patient registration, with the possibility of meeting other participating sites for an interactive virtual discussion.
The sites selected will include a mix of small and large research sites in community and academic oncology programs from various regions of the United States. Participating research sites will be offered a stipend for full participation.
“More evidence is needed to identify the factors that contribute to low screening and recruitment rates in clinical trials for people with cancer, especially those from under-represented racial and ethnic groups,” said the Dr Oyer. “We are developing resources to support practices that wish to improve their screening and enrollment, and these two pilot studies will allow us to gather the first key results to tackle this problem.”
This testing of the strategies will help assess their feasibility and effectiveness in different research settings and will provide information on their potential to help ensure that cancer treatment trials better reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of cancer patient populations.
To learn more about this initiative, visit FAQ page. A copy of The site’s application of interest is available for download and reference. However, it must be completed online. Interested practices should complete the online application for interest before June 11. After the pilot tests, ASCO and ACCC plan to make the resources available to the entire research community.
- Unger J, Hershman D, Till C, Minasian L, Osarogiagbon R, Fleury M, Vaidya R. “When offered to participate”: a systematic review and meta-analysis of patient agreement to participate in trials cancer clinics. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2020; djaa155. https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/113/3/244/5918345