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July 6, 2020 42 min

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Joel T Nowak interviews Emily Rencsok, an MD/PhD student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  They discuss the findings of a recent publication which she was the first author that analyzed 59 prostate cancer clinical trials based in North America and Europe.

Overall, Rencsok and colleagues looked at 72 global phase 3 and 4 prevention, screening, and treatment clinical trials for patients with prostate cancer that enrolled patients between 1987 and 2016. Of the 72 trials, 59 had race data available; corresponding with a total of approximately 844,000 participants.

When the researchers analyzed the diversity of enrollment over time, they found that the proportion of black men who were enrolled in prostate cancer clinical trials decreased from 11.3% in 1995 to 2.8% in 2014. Even further, the investigators found that the proportion of white participants in these clinical trials has primarily remained above 80% since 1990.

Joel and Emily also discussed the Iron Man study that has been making strives to reverse this trend.  They also discussed implicit racial bias in both clinical trials and treatments offered to black black individuals

 (Rencsok EM, Bazzi LA, McKay RR, et al. Diversity of Enrollment in Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials: Current Status and Future Directions. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1616.)

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