Increasing access to clinical cancer trials and emerging technologies for minority populations: the Native American Project.

Posted: Jun 17, 2010
J Clin Oncol. 22. 22. 4452-5.
KEYWORDS: Language or Cultural Barriers, Knowledge/Attitudes/Beliefs, Logistics/Transportation, Level of Clinical Trials Knowledge or Awareness, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Cancer, Treatment


A partnership between a community hospital and two comprehensive cancer centers aims to increase clinical trial enrollment and lower cancer mortality rates among Native Americans.

Why this item may be useful

Hospitals that provide radiation oncology services to a large number of low-income ethnic minority populations are often not linked to the nation's cancer research effort and struggle to maintain state-of-the-art cancer care. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) initiated the Cancer Disparities Research Partnership (CDRP) program to develop stable, long-term radiation oncology clinical research programs and to increase participation in clinical trials for institutions that serve a disproportionate number of ethnic minority patients. This paper discusses the partnership between a community hospital and two comprehensive cancer centers whose goal is to lower cancer mortality rates for Native Americans in the region.


  • This CDRP site has developed a Patient Navigator Program to provide culturally appropriate community education on cancer screening and treatment, facilitate participation in the project's clinical trials and community survey, and help Native American patients with cancer utilize the health care system.
  • Native Americans often do not access cancer treatment and clinical trials due to both real and perceived barriers. Potential barriers faced by Native Americans include distance, treatment duration, acute toxicities, lack of information, personal fears, and cultural beliefs.
  • The lessons learned by the individual Cancer Disparities Research Partnership grantees, and by the collaborative effort among all grantees and partners, will be used to increase the number of clinical scientists engaged in radiation oncology research in health disparities locations, increase the access of health disparities populations to clinical trials and emerging technologies, and lower cancer mortality rates for the Native American population.