What We're Reading: NIH Assessing COVID-19 Disparities; Fruity, Disposable E-Cigs Removed; ASCO, ACCC Partner on Minority Representation

July 21, 2020
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

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The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) “All of Us” research project was spotlighted for its potential to explain racial disparities due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); the FDA has told Cool Clouds Distribution to stop selling its fruite-flavored e-cigarettes (e-cigs); the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) partner to promote minority participation in cancer treatment trials.

NIH Project Examines Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Outcomes

Reported by Kaiser Health News, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” research project was spotlighted for being the world’s most diverse health database and for its potential ability to assist in explaining racial disparities due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Started in 2018, the database has collected blood and DNA samples, as well as electronic health records, from more than 270,000 individuals, over half of whom are minorities. This information is now being leveraged by the NIH to examine antibody test results of at least 10,000 program volunteers, as well as to examine the influence of social determinants of health on potential future pandemics.

FDA Cracks Down on Manufacturer of Fruity, Disposable E-Cigarettes

Yesterday, the FDA sent a letter to the manufacturer behind Puff Bar e-cigarettes to stop distribution and remove all of their fruity, disposable e-cigs from the market within 15 business days. Reported by The Associated Press, the move now targets disposable e-cigarettes, which antivaping advocates pointed out as a potential loophole in February when the FDA primarily targeted reusable vaping devices, like Juul. Cool Clouds Distribution, the company behind Puff Bar, issued a notice on its website that all online sales and distribution have ceased until further notice.

ASCO, ACCC Partner to Increase Minority Representation in Cancer Trials

Announced today, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) have partnered to promote the participation of racial and minority populations in cancer treatment trials. The joint initiative was indicated as a call to action to members of the cancer community, who have been asked to submit novel strategies and practical solutions to increase cancer treatment trial participation and address challenges that inhibit participation, such as provider bias. Strategies and ideas that are submitted may be modified, combined, and implemented through organizational mechanisms, such as the ASCO Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry study.