Katianne M. Howard Sharp, PhD, discusses the importance of racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials for pediatric patients with cancer.
Katianne M. Howard Sharp, PhD, instructor, Department of Psychology, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, discusses the importance of racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials for pediatric patients with cancer.
Enrolling an ethnically and racially diverse patient population in clinical trials is critical to ensure that the data are reflective of a real-world population, says Howard Sharp. Specifically, clinical trials that are evaluating genetic drivers of pediatric cancer.
Notably, minority populations who undergo genetic testing are more likely to have a cancer-associated germline variant compared with populations of European descent, says Howard Sharp. For example, studies have shown that black women undergoing molecular testing are more likely to have BRCA mutations of unknown significance compared with white women. However, the effects of these mutations with regard to cancer risk is not well defined, concludes Howard Sharp.