The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer (GO2 Foundation) announced its leadership in the launch of an important multi-institutional study to determine how to improve the participation of Black communities in lung cancer clinical trials.
GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer (GO2 Foundation) announced its leadership in the launch of an important multi-institutional study to determine how to improve the participation of Black communities in lung cancer clinical trials.
While participation in clinical trials by all cancer patients in the U.S. is extremely low, at about 8 percent1, participation is even lower among racial and ethnic minority groups. Of the small percentage of patients who join clinical trials, only about 6 percent are Black, 3 percent are Asian American, and 2 percent are Hispanic2.
The study, Studying Trial Determinants of Success (STRIDES), is being conducted in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, funded by grants awarded to GO2 Foundation from Genentech and Bristol Myers Squibb.
“Because of the lack of diversity in lung cancer clinical trials, it can be difficult to fully understand new ways of treating cancer across all patients,” Laurie Fenton Ambrose, co-founder, president and CEO of GO2 Foundation said. “STRIDES will help us address the ongoing healthcare disparities that have kept patients in racial and ethnic groups out of the process of developing new treatments and allow us to work toward better outcomes.”
STRIDES will focus on obtaining better understanding of the barriers to clinical trial participation among Black patients in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. Initially, the project will survey and interview a range of people who play a role in the clinical trial process, from patients to research staff to doctors, to find out what contributes to decreased clinical trial participation among Black patients in these areas. The second part of the project will use those lessons learned to select and pilot different evidence-based initiatives to increase the participation of Black patients in clinical trials.
The rate of lung cancer in Black men is approximately 30 percent higher than white men, and Black men and women are both more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than any other racial group. And while the lung cancer rate among Black women is nearly equal to white women, Black women smoke fewer cigarettes3.
“Because the Black community is disproportionately impacted by lung cancer, it is ever more imperative that we understand how best to effectively treat their cancer and increasing their participation in clinical trials will be critical to that effort,” Ambrose said.
Several researchers and institutions have partnered with GO2 Foundation on the STRIDES study design and implementation. The study team comprises a multi-disciplinary group of investigators from all four institutions and the academic partners are also providing key resources and facilities at their respective institutions.
The research partners weighed in on the importance of STRIDES in identifying barriers to clinical trial representation and how increasing participation can lead to better outcomes for lung cancer patients:
“The power of this four-way partnership among GO2 Foundation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University is unique. It brings the patient-facing expertise of GO2 Foundation together with a multi-disciplinary team of leading researchers in medical oncology, community engagement, and health disparities,” said Christine M. Lovly, MD, PhD, associate professor of Medicine, Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research, co-leader of the Translational Research and Interventional Oncology Research Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and chair of GO2 Foundation’s Scientific Leadership Board. “The STRIDES partnership also enables access to three distinct catchment areas in the South with diverse populations, which will allow us to identify strategies both common between and unique to the individual communities.”
“Diverse representation in clinical trials is essential to find treatments that are effective for all populations – including people from various racial, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds,” said Monica L. Baskin, PhD, associate director for outreach and engagement, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Good representation in trials also allows researchers to better understand patterns of difference in health and sickness based on backgrounds and behaviors that may provide more effective treatment and/or prevention. “
“Inclusion of a diverse population of patients in clinical trials will ensure access to novel therapies that may likely be among the newly approved therapies,” said Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, professor, medical director, Georgia Cancer Center Clinical Trials Program, Augusta University. “In addition, when treating the diverse patient population with standard of care options, the knowledge of efficacy and toxicity will not be complete, unless there were adequate contribution of everyone within those studies.”
STRIDES is part of GO2 Foundation’s ongoing commitment to better understanding lung cancer across all patient groups so that lung cancer can be treated in a more targeted, individualized, and effective manner. This study is on a two-year grant and will be complete at the end of 2022.
To learn more about STRIDES visit https://go2foundation.org/research/our-research-studies/strides/.
About GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer
Founded by patients and survivors, GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer transforms survivorship as the world's leading organization dedicated to saving, extending, and improving the lives of those vulnerable, at risk, and diagnosed with lung cancer. We work to change the reality of living with lung cancer by ending stigma, increasing public and private research funding, and ensuring access to care.
1. Unger et al., JNCI, 2019
2. Kwiatkowski et al., Cancer, 2013