Funded by Hooters of America, LLC
Fewer than 5% of adult cancer patients in the United States are enrolled in clinical trials. In addition, minorities constitute a small proportion of individuals participating in cancer studies. These strikingly low figures delay scientific advances, limit generalizability of trial results, and limit patient access to cutting-edge therapies. Proposed reasons for low accrual include lack of study availability, stringent eligibility criteria, physicians’ biases and lack of awareness, logistical issues, and patient mistrust.
Parkland Health and Hospital System (PHHS) serves as the safety-net hospital for Dallas County. Parkland, in partnership with the University of Texas Southwestern, provides medical care to a large population that disproportionately includes underserved minorities. Cancer patients presenting to Parkland are typically diagnosed at a more advanced stage and are more likely to have had delays in their care.
Based on our previous observations, we believe that the greatest potential impact lies in addressing specific and modifiable aspects of patient care. We therefore propose a Breast Cancer Clinical Research Navigator with a role distinct from research coordinators that will focus on early identification of trial candidates, expediting initial patient evaluation, and improving provider awareness of trial options.
We believe that engaging a Breast Cancer Clinical Research Navigator in the ways outlined above, will result in early and integrated consideration and presentation of trial options and will impact both patient and clinician interest in clinical trials, thereby augmenting accrual.