American Lung Association calls for improved diversity in clinical trials

The American Lung Association has established a campaign to boost the inclusion of Black individuals in lung cancer clinical trials.

Lung cancer has one of the highest mortality rates, and these rates worsen for individuals who live in low-socioeconomic regions or who are from backgrounds that have traditionally been underserved in healthcare. Not only are Black Americans less likely to be diagnosed early, they have also largely been left out of clinical research as well. 

Boosting patient diversity in trials ultimately increases clinical understanding about the effects of treatments and therapies on different patient populations, the news release underscores. 

"We are facing an issue in cancer care in this country. Black Americans are underrepresented in clinical research, so I am working with the American Lung Association to fix that," Danielle Mitchell, founder and CEO of Black Women in Clinical Research, said in a May 17 statement. "I started my career as a clinical research coordinator because my grandmother had cancer. I saw the lack of diversity in clinical trials, and I have set out to change that because representation matters."

Through a partnership with Ms. Mitchell, the American Lung Association will expand its initial 2022 campaign efforts and focus on dispelling misinformation around clinical trials while promoting them as a treatment option for Black individuals who are diagnosed with lung cancer to discuss with their physicians. 

The ALA's campaign is also supported by Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech, Merk, Novartis and Novocure, according to the release.

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