Health Equity Committee
The Health Equity Committee ensures that inclusion is woven throughout the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN), enabling its research to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity. The committee's main purpose is to foster full representation of underserved groups in ECOG-ACRIN trials. It is also enhancing the minority research workforce by supporting the development of trainees and junior investigators from diverse backgrounds.
The Group's broad view of inclusion encompasses people minoritized by race, ethnicity, or gender, as well as adolescents and young adults, seniors, and rural residents. Inclusion also considers a range of physical and mental comorbidities.
Across ECOG-ACRIN clinical trials, the committee’s approach to inclusion begins with trial design and extends to communities where trials are conducted. Committee members:
- Participate early in the design of the Group’s clinical trials to consider health equity-related implications and avoid any protocol-based barriers to diverse participation
- Provide real-time monitoring of trial accrual, with feedback to participating clinical sites
- Create tailored trial recruitment materials
- Collaborate with external organizations that serve special populations
A longstanding collaboration with the National Medical Association has enhanced trial participation for many years. Most recently, it led to substantial participation of Black cancer patients in the NCI-MATCH precision medicine cancer trial (9%) in the midst of concerns about precision oncology widening the disparities chasm. A new direction aims to replicate this success with Hispanic accrual.
Melissa A. Simon, MD, MPH
Northwestern University and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Thomas E. Lad, MD
Thomas E. Lad, MD
Stroger Hospital of Cook County Minority Underserved NCORP