A Scoping Review of Strategies to Increase Black Enrollment and Retention in Cancer Clinical Trials

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JCO Oncol Pract


To address health disparities faced by Black patients with cancer, it is critical that researchers conducting cancer clinical trials (CCTs) equitably recruit and retain Black participants, develop strategies toward this aim, and document associated outcomes. This narrative scoping literature review, as part of a larger study, aimed to identify, describe, and categorize strategies and interventions intended to improve the recruitment and retention of Black participants with breast, lung, prostate, colorectal, or multiple myeloma cancer into CCTs. We conducted comprehensive searches in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, PsycInfo, CINAHL, Scopus, and Web of Science with three main concepts: Black persons, neoplasms, and clinical trial recruitment. The search resulted in 1,506 articles, of which 15 met inclusion criteria. Five main categories of recruitment and retention strategies and interventions were identified based on their specific population focus and type of approach: (1) participant identification, (2) provider awareness/resources, (3) focused research staff interventions, (4) patient and community-focused awareness strategies, and (5) participant-directed resources. Thirteen studies had recruitment acceptance rates of over 30%. Eight studies with acceptance rates of ≥ 50% reported implementing ≥ 5 strategies, with an average use of seven strategies across multiple categories. Five studies with acceptance rates ≥ 50% implemented strategies in ≥ 3 categories. Four studies reported retention rates ≥ 74%. Three studies with reported retention rates ≥ 74% used strategies in ≥ 3 categories, and all included strategies aimed at meeting participant needs beyond the study. Our results show that many efforts that aim to increase the recruitment and retention of Black participants into CCTs have great potential, but the most promising strategies use a multiprong approach.

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ePub ahead of print

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