AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2022
Topic: In The News, News
This week, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) released its AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2022. According to the report, while overall cancer incidence and mortality rates are declining across all groups, disparities across the cancer continuum remain a public health challenge. The report cites the need for more funding, increased representation of patients from different backgrounds in clinical trials, and further diversification of the cancer research and care workforce to address the challenge.
The Lustgarten Foundation recognizes the incidence rate for Black people and African Americans is 20% higher and outcomes are less positive than rates among the white population. Yet, pancreatic cancer patients from minority groups continue to be significantly underrepresented in clinical trials, which may obscure disease causes and has the potential to exacerbate disparities in the development of novel therapeutics. We are dedicated to advancing efforts to make pancreatic cancer clinical trials more inclusive, expanding and diversifying the talent pool working in pancreatic cancer research and supporting pancreatic cancer research across diverse patient groups to understand the biological mechanisms that might drive different outcomes, in the lab and in the clinic, to improve the nuanced understanding of the disease and accelerate the development of new therapies for all patients.
The Lustgarten Foundation is committed to equity, diversity and accessibility for scientists and patients. Together, we are transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease through research initiatives including:
- The Lustgarten AACR Career Development Awards for Pancreatic Cancer Research in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Robert Lewis were created to foster and grow the number of early-career women and underrepresented scientists receiving funding for pancreatic cancer research and to honor the lives and legacies of two iconic Americans lost to pancreatic cancer.*
- The Lustgarten Equity, Accessibility and Diversity (LEAD) Project was created to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in pancreatic cancer clinical trials. Projects are designed to identify and address specific barriers to participation by, and to develop and implement specific tools to increase clinical trial participation from, underrepresented minority groups, including expanding community outreach, patient education and/or clinical recruitment staff. Diversity in clinical trials is important to ensure all cancer patients benefit from these research efforts.
- Howard Crawford, PhD, Scientific Director, Henry Ford Pancreatic Cancer Center, is leading the Probing Racial Disparities in Pancreatic Cancer project analyzing existing tumor samples to determine if genomic and cellular differences may account for the higher rates and poorer outcomes of pancreatic cancer in Black Americans.
Join us on Wednesday, June 15 for our next LustgartenLIVE! webinar, Leading the Way: Equity, Accessibility and Diversity in Pancreatic Cancer Research, exploring how diversity, equity and inclusion in pancreatic cancer research are transforming patient care—and why it should matter to you!
*We gratefully acknowledge Jeannette & Stephen Kordiak for supporting the 2022 Lustgarten AACR Career Development Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.