Involving American Indians and medically underserved rural populations in cancer clinical trials.

Posted: Apr 05, 2010
Clin Trials. 6. 6. 610-7.
KEYWORDS: Underserved, Rural, Eligibility, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Verbal Communications


Lack of available trials largest barrier for recruitment of American Indians

Why this item may be useful

In this study at a cancer center primarily serving American Indians and medically underserved rural populations, the lack of availability of clinical trials for common cancer sites as well as stringent protocol inclusion criteria were the main reasons patients did not enroll. Patient-related factors that prevented enrollment were only cited in 6 percent of the cohort. This study supports other research that indicates that currently available cancer clinical trials are not designed to meet the cancer care needs of underserved populations.


  • Targeted interventions using a patient navigation program to engage American Indian patients may have resulted in higher clinical trial enrollment among this population.
  • Other forms of outreach to the American Indian population include: community research representatives embedded in the community to provide cancer education, patient education materials translated into the Lakota language, and cancer center staff members that are either closely connected to or are members of the American Indian community.
  • The linguistically and culturally specific outreach provided by this cancer center may have contributed to the recruitment of a relatively higher proportion of American Indian patients to clinical treatment and control trials than seen in other studies.