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Medical schools partner to tackle barriers to minority participation in cancer clinical trials
Date:3/25/2010

The University of Minnesota Medical School today announced the details of a $3.8 million grant by the National Institutes of Health's National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) for research focused on minority recruitment and retention in cancer clinical trials. Although much is known about cancer incidence rates in minority populations, little research exists to understand behavior and social environmentthe barriers and biases that limit participation and access to clinical trials. The Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT) program aims to address these social issues.

This grant provides resources to explore the social issues that limit minority participation and access to cancer clinical trials. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, racial and ethnic minorities suffer more from cancer than the U.S. population as a whole, developing certain types of cancer more often with a greater chance of premature death due to late-stage detection.

Speaking to grant participants at an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., John Ruffin, Ph.D., director of the NCMHD said, "While minorities make up one-third of the U.S. population, few participate in clinical trials for various reasons including cultural or religious factors, lack of awareness, and a historical mistrust of the medical system. This research will start to identify and break down these racial and ethnic communications barriers, help to rebuild the community's trust, increase the participation and retention of racial/ethnic minorities in clinical trials, and will serve as a model that could be implemented at other cancer centers and hospitals nationwide."

To reach numerous African American/Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and American Indian populations, the EMPaCT program has created a consortium of five U.S. regions with identified lead institutions in those regions. They include: John Hopkins Universit
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Contact: Laura Stroup
lstroup@umn.edu
612-624-9912
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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