CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The University of Virginia Cancer Center has joined a national effort to increase racial and ethnic diversity in cancer treatment clinical trials.
According to a release, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Association of Community Cancer Centers are leading the initiative.
It aims to identify and implement strategies that will boost the participation of members of racial and ethnic minority communities in trials.
When compared with the percentages in the overall population of patients with cancer, such minority groups are under-represented in cancer research.
“Our goal in participating in the pilot project is to help us examine our current practices and make thoughtful changes to improve participation by patients from racial and ethnic minority communities,” said Dina Halme, PhD, Director for Research Administration and Strategic Planning at UVA Cancer Center. “As a Comprehensive Cancer Center, we want to do everything possible to make our clinical trials easily accessible to all patients, especially patients from groups that have been historically under-represented in cancer research.”
The release says UVA will be testing a self-assessment tool including three surveys about the cancer center's characteristics along with its policies and procedures related to clinical research as part of this initiative.
The center will also be providing feedback to the national cancer groups on the surveys in order to help improve them because they are shared with other cancer research centers.
The National Cancer Institute recently designated the UVA Cancer Center as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its research and clinical trial work.