A University of California, San Diego-led team of researchers examined the representation of minorities, women, and the elderly in clinical trials funded by the US National Cancer Institute. By delving through the NCI Clinical Data Update System, the researchers examined the demographics of 242,720 participants in clinical trials of breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer between 2000 and 2019. As they report in the journal Cancer, they found Black patients were more likely to participate in breast, lung, and prostate cancer trials and Hispanic patients were more likely to participate in breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer trials in 2015 through 2019, as compared to 2000 to 2004.
However, the researchers note that Black and Hispanic patients remain underrepresented in trials. "Our article indicates that the disparity for clinical enrollment in NCI clinical trials has narrowed for minorities, but further efforts are still needed," first author Juan Javier-DesLoges from UC San Diego Health says in a statement.