Purpose/Objectives: To examine differences in opportunity and eligibility for cancer clinical trial (CCT) participation based on sociodemographic and disease characteristics.
Design: A matched cross-sectional study including a prospective oral questionnaire and retrospective electronic medical record (EMR) review.
Setting: A single hospital in a large academic National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Sample: 44 Black or Hispanic and 44 Non-Hispanic White newly diagnosed individuals matched on cancer type and age (plus or minus five years).
Methods: Participants answered a questionnaire to capture self-reported opportunity for CCT participation, sociodemographic information, and cancer type. With consent, the authors completed a retrospective review of the EMR to assess eligibility and collect cancer stage and performance status.
Main Research Variables: Opportunity and eligibility for CCT participation.
Findings: Most participants (78%) had no opportunity for participation and were ineligible for all available trials. No differences were noted in opportunity for participation or eligibility based on race or ethnicity. Participants with late-stage disease were more likely to have opportunity and be eligible for CCT participation (p = 0.001). Those with private insurance were less likely to have opportunity for participation (p = 0.05).
Conclusions: Limited trial availability and ineligibility negatively influenced opportunity for CCT participation for all populations. Levels of under-representation for CCT participation likely vary within and across sociodemographic and disease characteristics, as well as across healthcare settings.
Implications for Nursing: The unique roles of nurse navigators and advanced practice nurses can be leveraged to increase opportunities for CCT participation for all populations.