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

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, however, people of color suffer disproportionally from lung cancer. According to the “State of Lung Cancer” report, the rate of new lung cancer cases is 76 per 100,000 population among Black Americans in Missouri, which is significantly higher than the rate of 59 among Black Americans nationally and significantly higher than the rate of 71 among whites in Missouri. Today, the American Lung Association in Missouri announced the Awareness, Trust, and Action campaign, which aims to increase awareness amongst Black Americans about clinical trials and encourage them to speak with their healthcare provider about their treatment options.

Nationally, 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. 

“More people are surviving lung cancer. The lung cancer five-year survival rate is now 25% overall but remains significantly lower among communities of color, including Black Americans at only 18%,” said Laura Turner, Advocacy Director at the Lung Association. “When Black Americans enroll in clinical trials, they can benefit from the latest science and treatments, and researchers can learn about how lung cancer treatments work in different people. Unfortunately, Black Americans are underrepresented in clinical trials, so it is critical to raise awareness about this important issue.”

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 launching the Awareness, Trust, and Action campaign in Missouri 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.

For more information, contact:

Janye Killelea
312-940-7624
[email protected]

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