Dr. Saba on Disparities of Clinical Trials in Head and Neck Cancer


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Nabil Saba, MD, FACP, discusses the disparities seen in clinical trials in head and neck cancer.

Nabil Saba, MD, FACP, professor, vice chair, Quality and Safety, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, adjunct professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Emory University School of Medicine, the Lynne and Howard Halpern chair, Head and Neck Cancer Research, co-director, Head and Neck Cancers, Multi-Disciplinary Program, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, discusses the disparities seen in clinical trials in head and neck cancer.

Many phase 3 clinical trials struggle to represent minority populations, and this remains an area to address, Saba says. This reinforces the need to focus efforts on improving minority enrollment to better examine the activity of agents across broader populations of patients with recurrent or metastatic disease, Saba explains.

An additional unmet need is to better define end points in clinical studies, particularly in head and neck cancer, Saba continues. Although a main goal is to cure patients, a competing goal resides in the need to maintain a patient’s quality of life, Saba adds. As younger patients are diagnosed with cancer and overall survival increases among all patients, preserving quality of life becomes equally important, Saba concludes.

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