University of Kansas Seeks to Boost Participation of Underrepresented Groups in Cancer Clinical Trials

Researchers at the University of Kansas are launching an effort to boost participation in cancer clinical trials among minority populations that are historically underserved in the fight against cancer. The series of videos, posters, fliers and more will feature patients’ own doctors and nurses while addressing the concerns and questions they most often have about such trials.

Initial research revealed that many people thought of cancer clinical trials as a last resort or that they might be treated like a “guinea pig” if they took part in a trial. The videos address those and other concerns directly, clarifying that there are many kinds of trials, patients can take part in them at the beginning of their treatment, and that they are aimed at advancing cancer therapies.

The research also revealed that people indicated they would be more likely to take part in cancer clinical trials when they know doing so can contribute to something bigger than themselves and help future generations — including family members in some cases of genetic cancers — and when they learn that many of today’s cancer treatments were developed through similar trials. The communication plan addresses all of those points.

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