BUILDing Diversity in Clinical Trials through Collaborations
Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) are founding a collaborative project with researchers at Xavier University of Louisiana that aims to improve diversity in cancer clinical trials. Working together, the group hopes to enhance researchers’ cultural competency while educating underrepresented populations about the importance of participating in clinical trials.
Historically, clinical trial have lacked diversity among their participants. Incidence of disease and response to treatment varies between genders and among racial and ethnic groups. These effects can go undetected if the demographics of clinical trial participants do not adequately represent that of the general population.
In the URMC Department of Surgery’s Cancer Control program, Matthew Asare, Ph.D., research assistant professor and his mentor, Charles Kamen, Ph.D., assistant professor, have developed educational materials to help researchers better understand and engage underrepresented populations. With a standardized curriculum and educational brochures they hope to motivate clinical coordinators, who recruit clinical trial participants, to build relationships with the community and gain their trust.