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Research Letter
January 2016

Patient Income Level and Cancer Clinical Trial ParticipationA Prospective Survey Study

Author Affiliations
  • 1SWOG Statistical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 3Loyola University, Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Illinois
  • 4University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
  • 5Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
  • 6Columbia University, New York, New York
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(1):137-139. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.3924

Cancer clinical trials provide the best evidence for showing the efficacy of new treatments. However, only a small percentage of adult patients with cancer participate in clinical trials.1 The issue of income disparities in clinical trial participation has been poorly addressed; limiting income disparities is important for ensuring rapid enrollment and fair access to trials. Our research group previously found that patients with annual household incomes below $50 000 were 27% less likely to participate in clinical trials.2 This provocative result was derived from one of many analyses of demographic and socioeconomic factors within a single, cross-sectional data set and so was considered hypothesis generating. The confirmation of this finding with prospectively collected data is critical for affirming its validity.

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