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BACKGROUND: Studies using administrative data report that racial/ethnic minority patients enroll in clinical trials less frequently than white patients. We studied a cohort of terminally ill cancer patients to determine a) if racial/ethnic minority patients have lower rates of drug trial enrollment than white patients once socioeconomic characteristics are accounted for and b) what factors most influence drug trial enrollment among patients with advanced canceroverall.

METHODS: Coping with Cancer (CwC) is a National Cancer Institute/National Institute of Mental Health (NCI/NIMH)-funded multisite, prospective, longitudinal study of patients with advanced cancer. Baseline interviews assessed drug trial enrollment as well as socioeconomic characteristics. Logistic regression models estimated associations between drug trial enrollment and baseline characteristics. Stepwise, backward, and subset model selection was applied to select the final model where characteristics significant at α=0.05 remained in the model.

RESULTS: At a median of 4.4 months prior to death, 35 of 358 patients (9.8%) were enrolled in a drug trial. In unadjusted analyses, race/ethnicity, health insurance, performance status, recruitment site, cancer type, preference for life-extending care, and lack of end-of-life care planning were associated (p

CONCLUSION: Patient race/ethnicity was not associated with clinical trial enrollment after adjustment for socioeconomic covariates. Patients with advanced cancer endorsing less engagement in end-of-life planning were more likely to be enrolled in a clinical trial.


Journal of Palliative Medicine



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