October 13, 2021 by Peter B. Laird
Miami Cancer Institute’s CEO Discusses the Importance of Diversifying Clinical Trials
Editor’s Note: To mark World Cancer Research Awareness Day on September 24, Miami Cancer Institute CEO and executive medical director Michael J. Zinner, M.D., offers his thoughts on why, for clinical trials designed to test new therapies, it’s so important that the patients enrolled in these trials reflect the real-world population.
Dr. Zinner states…
“Innovation in cancer research is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, positively impacting our patients’ lives. As we develop new treatment options, it’s crucial that our #clinicaltrials reflect the real-world population that will use them because factors including race and ethnicity play a role in how effective and safe a treatment may be.
“In cancer research, it is valuable to note the differences in the genetic makeup of cancers among communities of color so that treatments are inclusive and effective for all patients. Yet, only eight percent of clinical trial participants identify as Black or Latinx, which means we only have a partial picture. Increasing the participation of diverse communities is vital to providing innovative treatments that benefit every patient.
“In South Florida, we are fortunate to have a richly diverse community and I am certain advancing genomic profiling and clinical trials among our community will help us all improve cancer care. Increasing participation requires us to meet patients where they are. Tailoring our language to be patient-friendly and partnering with trusted community members are a great start. What other strategies have you seen be successful in ensuring diverse clinical trials?”
Resource readers can learn more about clinical trials at Miami Cancer Institute here.