Martin Edelman, MD, and Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, discuss their role within the Stand Up to Cancer® 4-team initiative, focusing on diversity in early-phase clinical trials.
Martin Edelman, MD, chair, Department of Hematology/Oncology, professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, deputy cancer center director for Clinical Research. G. Morris Dorrance Jr. chair in Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health, and Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, associate research professor, Health Communications and Health Disparities, co-director, GMaP Region 4, co-lead, National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Center Cessation Initiative, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health, discuss their role within the Stand Up to Cancer® (SU2C) 4-team initiative, focusing on diversity in early-phase clinical trials.
Within the initiative, Edelman and Fleisher will focus their efforts on accelerating and diversifying access to clinical trials at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
In order to pursue these initiatives in improving diversity in clinical trials, a multidisciplinary team is required, Fleisher says. By looking at these issues from multiple perspectives, including from viewpoints of the community, the patients, and from the various aspects of clinical care, it will be more feasible to development strategies to improve enrollment, Fleisher adds. These initiatives do require clinicians to come together and work as a team in order for the community to tackle these issues together, Fleisher explains.
Although the care for a patient’s disease requires a multidisciplinary team made up of surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and others, the push to increase participation in clinical trials also includes community or social researchers, as well as those involved in education and palliative care, Edelman says.
Furthermore, by bringing these various groups together, this initiative will help create best practices that will be applicable to a wide range of sites and institutions, Edelman notes. However, clinicians should be aware that they may need to adapt these, Edelman says. For example, transportation to an National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center for one patient may only be a bus ride away; however, another patient may not be able to reach that institution with ease, and these patients require different support and approaches. By keeping the community involved and educating patients, a personalized message could help lead to more trial enrollment, Edelman concludes.