The Importance of Patient Diversity in Clinical Trials

By Erin Post, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Clinical trials drive progress forward. They give patients early access to new treatments that lead to better outcomes.

Yet racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical research, according to the FDA. This lack of diversity can affect how results translate to the population at large, said Kelly Herremans, MD, general surgery resident and surgical oncology research fellow at the University of Florida.

“The goals of clinical trials are to test safety and efficacy of investigational treatment options for patients, and ultimately, to establish new standards of care,” she said. “If the clinical trial doesn’t include representation of diverse patients, we can’t – and shouldn’t – expect that the findings will be relevant to all patient demographics.” Read more …