YRMC’s results further validate that patients in the Yuma community have access to first-class, compassionate cancer care here at home. Not only is YRMC Cancer Center’s daily dedication to improving cancer outcomes making a remarkable difference in our community, but it’s also helping shape cancer care across the country.
Despite more than 30 years of government policies to improve diversity in clinical cancer trials, certain groups remain underrepresented, including rural communities, some racial and ethnic groups, women, and low-income individuals.
Participating federal agencies increased diversity in federally funded cancer trials by expanding eligibility and covering patient expenses. YRMC and other non-federal cancer centers raised awareness of clinical trials, tailored messages to reach diverse patient groups, and more.
YRMC reported 39.2% of patients enrolled in its cancer clinical trials are Hispanic, compared to an average of 3-6% across cancer therapeutic trials more broadly.
“America is changing, and up until this point, minorities have been historically underrepresented in cancer trials. Increasing diversity in these trials helps break down cultural barriers and makes the treatment process more efficient for both the patient and the doctor,” said Dr. Abhinav Chandra, medical director of the YRMC Cancer Center. “It has been an honor to participate in this study knowing the practices we implemented at YRMC are actively contributing to medical advancements in cancer care.”
YRMC implemented the following three practices to facilitate diversity in the cancer clinical trials:
- Organizational-Level Practices: YRMC partnered with Tempus Labs and Optimal Research to expand trial options for patients, match patients to relevant open trials more quickly and decrease trial activation to an average of 10 business days compared to the industry average of 20 weeks.
- Community-Level Practices: YRMC’s bilingual Hispanic community health workers offered health fairs and provided clinical trial information to the rural and multicultural patient populations they serve.
- Patient-Level Practices: In order to combat the stigma associated with clinical trials, YRMC sent bilingual social workers and nurse navigators into the community to provide education on clinical trials, translation services and linguistically tailored clinical trial information.
“As a cancer center from a very rural area, being chosen along with 16 other high-level, prestigious cancer centers across the nation is very humbling and has given our staff and our community an added sense of pride,” said Dr. Sarah Medina-Rodriguez, director of institutional research at YRMC. “This recognition proves YRMC is on the right track and shows us what we are doing to decrease healthcare disparity is truly making a difference.”
For more information on YRMC’s clinical trials, please visit yumaregional.org/Medical-Services/Clinical-Trials.