Diversifying clinical trials, a key piece of health equity
UCLA Health Connect blog
For far too long, cancer researchers rarely questioned why clinical trials lacked diversity. Maria Garcia-Jimenez, MD, MHS, is committed to changing that and to reducing disparities across the cancer care continuum – from diagnosis and treatment to end of life care.
Chief fellow of the Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Training Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and researcher at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Garcia-Jimenez says over the past few years, cancer care has rapidly advanced and yet some groups of people still lack access to adequate care, novel treatments and clinical trials.
“With certain populations unable to access that care, it widens existing inequities,” she says. “This is unacceptable.”
Dr. Garcia-Jimenez, who is a member of the first cohort of the Robert A. Winn Career Development Award, formerly Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program, a program aimed at improving the recruitment of diverse clinical trial participants, points to recent literature that shows Black Americans make up about 13% of the U.S. population, yet comprise about 5% of clinical trial participants.
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