Among all the ethnic groups in the U.S., Black Americans have the highest risk for pancreatic cancer, which is up to 67% higher than other groups. This is according to the data by the National Cancer Institute.
While there are many risk factors for pancreatic cancer such as diabetes, smoking, family history and obesity, evidence shows that the disparity is more attributed to access and social issues, and not biology.
Clinical trials lead to better outcomes
January being an awareness month for National Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials, was crucial to remind everyone about the significance of participating in a clinical trial as patients who take part in clinical research have improved outcomes.
Each treatment applicable today received an approval through a clinical trial. According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, it’s important to carry out clinical trials at the diagnosis stage and when making a decision regarding treatment.
Typically, during the pancreatic cancer fight, clinical trials offer the best options for treatment. They provide patients with early access with advanced treatments that can result in better treatment options, progress in research and improved outcomes. If there’s no increased enrolment, it would be hard to receive approval on new and improved methods of treatment.
Ethnic diversity and tumor biology are important in clinical trials
According to I’m In, a campaign encouraging diversity when it comes to clinical trials, the clinical trial participants comprise of 5% African Americans and 1% of Hispanics. This is despite the former consisting of 12% of the U.S. population and the later comprising of 16% of the U.S. population.
The I’m In campaign demonstrates the importance of a patient’s racial and ethnic background in clinical trials. More diversity in clinical trials can help researchers to come up with better ways of fighting illnesses that disproportionately affect certain populations.
Besides, each pancreatic cancer is unique and treatments may depend on tumor biology. Studies reveal that selecting treatments on the basis of tumor biology may contribute to their success.