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

y (east), University of Alabama at Birmingham (southeast), University of Minnesota (midwest), The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (south), and University of California, Davis (west).

"Increasing minority access to the best care that's already funded and available is a key goal of the EMPaCT research," said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., Jay Phillips Professor, chairman of the University of Minnesota's Department of Surgery, associate director of translational research for the Masonic Cancer Center, and principal investigator on this grant. "Our effort should provide insight to overcoming barriers and a history of mistrust in clinical research and clinical trial recruitment."

One element of the EMPaCT research is to establish a patient navigation model. These patient navigators would work with minority groups, providing assistance to patients considering a clinical trial and offering ongoing support and outreach to patients enrolled in a trial. A similar model was successfully implemented at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), increasing African American participation in clinical trials.

"We must find ways to increase minority participation in clinical trials," said Mona Fouad, M.D., M.P.H., professor and director of the Division of Preventive Medicine, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, and co-principal investigator on this grant. "Failure to do so misses the opportunity to provide effective, detailed and often improved care for all persons via clinical trials. Focusing on recruiting minorities into clinical trials also provides a novel mechanism to engage the part of our nation at the greatest medical risk, those on the fringe of the health-care safety net and for whom data is persistently limited and/or missing in the areas of chronic diseases and cancer."

Both Vickers and Fouad bring a wealth of experience and have a strong recor
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Contact: Laura Stroup
lstroup@umn.edu
612-624-9912
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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