Racial Minorities Remain Underrepresented in AML Clinical Trials

White patients are much more likely than other races to be enrolled in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) clinical trials, according to a study presented during the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting.

“Racial and ethnic disparities in clinical trial enrollment compound inequities in drug development and the delivery of patient-centered care. Despite significant survival disparities in AML, enrollment disparities data are limited,” the researchers wrote.

They searched U.S. clinical trials in AML from 2002 through 2017 on ClinicalTrials.gov, then compared these data to the incidence and demographic distribution of AML using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program and 2010 U.S. Census. Enrollment fractions (number of enrollees divided by number of incident cases) were determined for white, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander (PI), American Indian/Native Alaskan (AI/AN), and Hispanic patients.

A total of 223 eligible studies comprising 17,372 patients were identified, of which 99 (44.4%) reported racial demographics (n=8,417; 48.5%) and 68 (30.5%) reported race and ethnicity (n=6,554; 37.7%).

In the trials that reported race and ethnicity, all other groups, compared to white patients, were less likely to be enrolled in the trials. In the trials reporting race data, compared to white patients, the odds of enrollment were lower for Black (odds ratio [OR], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-0.65) and AI/AN patients (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.33-0.76), but not for Asian/PI patients (OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.82-1.01).