Investigators report that although 22% of prostate cancer diagnoses take place in non-Hispanic Black men, more than 96% of participants in prostate cancer clinical trials are non-Hispanic white men. That was the conclusion published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention. Furthermore, enrollment of African American men in prostate cancer studies since the year 1995 has been declining.
Investigators examined 59 phase III and IV clinical trials that included 844,000 participants performed between 1987 and 2016. They discovered that 83.4% of participants in treatment trials, 84.6% of participants in prevention trials, and 97.5% of patients in screening trials were non-Hispanic White men. In contrast, African American men represented only 6.7% of patients in treatment trials, 8.5% of participants in prevention trials, and 0.5% of participants in screening trials. Nor has there been improvement over time. On the contrary, the percent of African American men taking part in prostate cancer clinical trials has fallen from 11.3 per cent in 1995 to 2.8% in 2014.
The investigators point out that minority men have a greater burden of cancer incidence and mortality than White men, making their underrepresentation in clinical studies problematic. They go on to urge greater enrollment of Black men in prostate cancer studies, the better to understand the disparity in prostate cancer incidence and outcome. They conclude that improved understanding of these disparities could lead to improved treatment in African American patients.