2023 Lustgarten Equity, Accessibility, and Diversity (LEAD) Project Grant Recipients Announced
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WOODBURY, N.Y., May 9, 2023 — The Lustgarten Foundation has announced that the 2023 Lustgarten Equity, Accessibility, and Diversity (LEAD) Project grants will be awarded to Karyn Goodman, MD, MS, Vice Chair of Radiation Oncology and Associate Director of Clinical Research at Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for her study entitled “Navigating Pancreatic Cancer Multidisciplinary Care to Address Cultural and Language Barriers to Clinical Trial Enrollment among Mandarin and Spanish Speaking Patients with Pancreatic Cancer,” and to Rebecca Snyder, MD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgical Oncology and Health Services Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, for her study entitled “IMPACT Diversity: An Integrated Multi-level Plan to Address Clinical Trial Diversity.” The LEAD Project aims to broaden inclusivity by actively recruiting and retaining patients from underrepresented minority groups in pancreatic cancer clinical trials.
“I am thankful to the Lustgarten Foundation for funding projects that specifically address the needs of underrepresented populations in pancreatic cancer research,” said Karyn Goodman, MD, MS. “We hypothesize that by identifying all Spanish and Mandarin-speaking patients at diagnosis and integrating them into our Canopy multidisciplinary clinic program, we will improve access to care and increase clinical trial enrollment within these historically underrepresented groups.”
Goodman’s “Navigated Pancreatic Cancer Multidisciplinary Care to Address Cultural and Language Barriers to Clinical Trial Enrollment among Mandarin and Spanish Speaking Patients with Pancreatic Cancer” study focuses on the development of a patient navigator program for Mandarin and Spanish-speaking patients. The program will provide multidisciplinary care and clinical trial matching. This is a collaborative effort by three institutions – Mount Sinai, Northwell Health, and Johns Hopkins Medicine and their site leaders, Drs. Joseph Herman and Lei Zheng. All three institutions are part of the Canopy Cancer Collective Learning Health Network and are already conducting multidisciplinary clinics for pancreatic cancer where the clinical trial navigators will be embedded to help further enhance clinical trial enrollment. Each of the sites will help develop culturally appropriate materials for patients with limited English proficiency.
Different populations do not experience the same impact from pancreatic cancer – incidence rates and disparities vary significantly among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The Lustgarten Foundation aims to enhance the nuanced comprehension of the disease and expedite the creation of new therapies for all patients. To achieve this, it will support projects that recognize and overcome obstacles to participation, as well as increase community outreach, patient education, and/or clinical recruitment staff. LEAD Project recipients are awarded $150,000 per year, for three years, per grant.
“The Lustgarten Foundation’s support will enable us to test specific interventions to increase enrollment of minority patients in pancreatic cancer clinical trials,” said Rebecca Snyder, MD, MPH. “Clinical trials are critical to study and test new treatments for pancreatic cancer; however, Black and Hispanic patients are not enrolled in trials at the same rates as White patients. Black and Hispanic patients comprise only 8% and 6% of pancreatic cancer clinical trial participants, despite making up 13% and 18% of the US population.”
Snyder’s “IMPACT Diversity: Integrated Multi-level Plan to Address Clinical Trial Diversity” study involves a three-part, multi-level intervention to increase Black and Hispanic patient enrollment in clinical trials. The study will involve centralized pre-screening for trial eligibility with tracking of trial accrual by race and ethnicity with feedback to research teams in real-time, routine screening for social determinants of health, and a structured navigation program to address social needs and provide education about clinical trial research.
“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,” said Linda Tantawi, Lustgarten Foundation CEO. “The LEAD Project is a hopeful step toward addressing the needs of all patients.”
Learn more about the LEAD Project here.