Randall Oyer, MD, president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers, discusses the ACCC and American Society of Clinical Oncology's initiative to make clinical trials more inclusive.
Disparities in cancer care have long existed, and a collaboration between the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is bringing them to the forefront. The collaboration aims to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in clinical trial participation. Randall Oyer, MD, medical director of the oncology program at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and 2020-2021 president of the ACCC, discusses how the collaboration came to fruition.
What went into the decision to collaborate with ASCO on the initiative to increase minority participation in clinical trials?
Both ASCO and ACCC have a very strong mission to apply results across all communities and have a very strong social mission. Truthfully, the CEO of ASCO, Dr Cliff Hudis, noticed the similarity between this year's presidential theme in ASCO where [2020-2021 ASCO president] Dr Lori Pierce had chosen social determinants of health, and the presidency for ACCC, which was moving clinical trials out into the community. Clearly, there was overlap, and focusing on Blacks and other ethnic minorities who have been traditionally underrepresented in cancer treatment trials seemed to be something that we could do better together.
The window for idea submission closed in late August. How was the response rate?
About 30 thoughtful responses came in from ASCO and ACCC members, really highlighting how important this issue is to investigators across the country and how people have already started to work on the problem. So we were really pleased with the response. There were some top notch ideas—very difficult to sort through.