American Lung Association Campaign Aims to Address Lack of Diversity in Clinical Trials, Improve Lung Cancer Care for Black Americans

The lung cancer five-year survival rate has increased by nearly 40% in the past decade. Unfortunately, this progress has not been shared equally. Black Americans with lung cancer are less likely to be diagnosed at an early stage, less likely to receive surgical treatment, and less likely to receive any treatment at all compared to white Americans. That’s why the American Lung Association is expanding its work through the Awareness, Trust and Action program to increase awareness amongst Black Americans about clinical trials and encourage them to speak with their healthcare provider about their treatment options.

Lung cancer research is moving at a rapid pace, and clinical trials are critical to advancing promising lung cancer treatments. Clinical trials are highly monitored research studies that can test many things like how to prevent a disease, new ways to detect or diagnose a disease or new ways to treat a disease. Sometimes the most appropriate treatment option for a lung cancer patient is through a clinical trial.  

“We are facing an issue in cancer care in this country. Black Americans are underrepresented in clinical research, so I am working with the American Lung Association to fix that,” said Danielle Mitchell, Founder and CEO of Black Women in Clinical Research. “I started my career as a clinical research coordinator because my grandmother had cancer. I saw the lack of diversity in clinical trials, and I have set out to change that because representation matters.”

This underrepresentation happens for many reasons, with one of them being the long-standing history of racial bias in healthcare, which impacts access to care and trust in providers. It is important to enroll a diverse group of people in clinical trials so researchers can understand the effects of potential treatment methods on the different patient populations. 

The American Lung Association is expanding its Awareness, Trust and Action campaign, which initially launched in 2022, to: 
  • Raise awareness among Black Americans with lung cancer (as well as the larger Black community) about the availability and importance of clinical trials as a treatment option for lung cancer;
  • Address misconceptions and mistrust around clinical trials and convey their value as a potential treatment option; and 
  • Empower Black Americans to take action by talking with their doctors about lung cancer clinical trials.
Learn more at Lung.org/trials-and-you.

Support for this project provided in part by Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech, Merck, Novartis and Novocure.

The Lung Association is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as core values. Our vision of a world free of lung disease includes all people, regardless of skin color, race, ethnicity, gender identity, creed, age, ability, sexual orientation, national origin, education, language or socio-economic status. Given the disproportionate impact of lung disease on historically underserved communities, the Lung Association embraces diversity as a moral and mission-driven imperative. This commitment governs all activities of the Lung Association, including policies and guidelines, procedures, programs, personnel practices and resource development to ensure that the diversity of the communities we serve—including but not limited to racial, ethnic and gender diversity—are reflected in our volunteers and staff. 
For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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