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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Aug 1;23(22):5247-54.

Increasing minority participation in cancer clinical trials: the minority-based community clinical oncology program experience.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. wm57h@nih.gov



The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MBCCOP) seeks to enhance minority participation in cancer clinical trials by building clinical trials outreach and management capacity in healthcare institutions serving large numbers of minority cancer patients. This article examines temporal trends in MBCCOP accruals to cancer prevention and control (CP/C) and cancer treatment trials and the racial distribution of study participants, along with the major factors affecting minority enrollment.


We used NCI databases to analyze temporal trends in overall accruals and accruals by race. We analyzed transcripts from an NCI-sponsored meeting with MBCCOP principal investigators and data from a follow-up survey to identify factors affecting minority enrollment.


Between 1992 and 2003, annual patient accruals to treatment trials increased 39% despite little change in the number of MBCCOP grantees. During this same period, annual participant accruals to CP/C trials more than doubled. Between 1995 and 2003, minorities comprised 51% to 67% of the MBCCOP patients accrued to cooperative group treatment trials compared with < or = 23% of the patients accrued by other cooperative group members and affiliates. Major factors affecting minority enrollment include the availability of "clinically relevant" protocols, regulatory requirements, characteristics of the patient population, and the level of support from sponsoring institutions and community physicians.


MBCCOPs have demonstrated their ability to facilitate the participation of racial/ethnic minorities in clinical trials. However, the contributions that they could make to the design and conduct of minority-focused research studies merit further exploration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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