Recruitment of ethnic minorities into cancer clinical trials: Experience from the front lines.

Posted: Dec 18, 2012
Br J Cancer. 107. 7. 1017-21.
KEYWORDS: Knowledge/Attitudes/Beliefs, Language or Cultural Barriers, Underserved, Low Literacy, International, Regulatory Issues, Consent, Minority Groups, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Cancer


Building local community relationships improves overall cancer care and clinical trial accrual.

Why this item may be useful

The key to improving recruitment of minorities into clinical trials is to develop unique strategies that take into consideration the characteristics of each population and subpopulation. It is essential to work with community leadership to develop an understanding of those characteristics and to facilitate access to the community. Strategies may include using different types of educational materials, hiring staff who represent target populations, and modifying how patients are approached and engaged based on information about each culture’s beliefs, perceptions, and expectations. Translated consent forms must reflect the educational levels of the local population. Consideration should be given to legislative changes to facilitate modification of review criteria to allow substitution of recorded consent for written forms.


  • Investigators in Leicester, UK, found that members of a local South Asian population should be approached by a senior doctor to maximize trust between patient and physician.
  • A trial conducted in Los Angeles found that employing Hispanic data managers and research nurses improved accrual.
  • The article includes a table describing fiscal, cultural, access-related, and knowledge-base-related impediments to optimal cancer care for minorities, along with potential solutions.