Racial and ethnic disparities in clinical research leave many patients at a disadvantage, with lack of access to emerging therapies and lack of assurance that newly approved medications will be safe and effective for them.
As one of its initiatives to help improve equitable representation in clinical trials, PlatformQ Health partnered with TOUCH – the Black Breast Cancer Alliance as well as faculty from Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, UCLA, Baptist Cancer Center, and Grand View Hospital to produce a tethered educational program focused on diversity in breast and lung cancer clinical trials. The program was designed to better understand clinical perceptions and practices and to help improve patients’ awareness about clinical trials.
In a poster accepted at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting, PlatformQ Health Senior Medical Director Tariqa Ackbarali PhD, MS presented the outcomes from these digital education programs.
1,264 clinicians and 1,912 patients and caregivers participated in the programs. Questions were asked during in-session polling, in the post-activity evaluation, and two months after activity completion to gauge the impact of the sessions. Program outcomes demonstrated both a willingness among patients to engage in discussions about clinical trials and to participate when eligible. Additionally, clinicians had a positive response, gaining confidence in their ability to address barriers to clinical trial enrollment.
Prior to the provider session, 36% of clinician learners reported that they were confident in their ability to improve the diversity of clinical trial participation. After the session, that number had increased to 62%. In addition, two months after the provider session, 42% of providers reported that they had referred at least one patient from a diverse population (e.g., female, elderly, rural residence, or non-white race) to a clinical trial.