Ohio Oncology Program Encourages Blacks’ Participation in Clinical Trials
The Toledo Community Hospital Oncology Program, as part of National Minority Health Month, is promoting "Reach Week," an effort to encourage more blacks to participate in cancer clinical trials, the Toledo Blade reports. According to the National Patient Advocate Foundation, only 8% of blacks participate in publicly funded clinical trials. Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society's 2007 through 2008 "Cancer Facts and Figures for African-Americans," reported that blacks have a higher cancer death rate than any racial or ethnic group in the U.S. and are 21% more likely to die from cancer than whites. Pat Wilhelm, executive director of the oncology program, said the providers working on initiative are trying to dispel myths about inadequate care for blacks who participate in clinical trials. She said providers will educate the black community on the trials and discuss the safety and benefits of clinical trial participation. "(The trials) are not any more risky than the standard of care. We need to let people know that they are safe," she said, adding, "We want to encourage (African-Americans) to consider treatment trials as a treatment option for cancer." Wilhelm added, "This is the only way we're going to find new treatments for cancer" (Hughes, Toledo Blade, 3/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.