ProPublica co-published with STAT News
Caroline Chen and Riley Wong, “Black Patients Miss Out on Promising Cancer Drugs”
This work was the culmination of efforts in creating an extensive database reflecting the racial demographics of patients recruited to clinical trials. Chen and Wong created this database by reviewing FDA websites which reported on the demographics of clinical trials from all cancer drugs approved since 2015. They noted that, across the board, minorities were grossly underrepresented, including Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. The concern over this misrepresentation was the fact that these populations often had a greater incidence of the specific tumor type for which the drug was FDA approved. Interviewing people of color in their article, they brought awareness of several barriers to clinical trial recruitment of these populations and concluded, based on tumor type vs. demographic data, that minorities need a significantly greater representation in cancer clinical trials to better understand the true worth of novel therapeutics in these patient populations.