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

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 69 per 100,000 population among Black Americans in Michigan, which is significantly higher than the rate of 60 among Black Americans nationally and significantly higher than the rate of 64 among whites in Michigan. Today, the American Lung Association in Michigan 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 Ken Fletcher, 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 Michigan 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:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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