National Cancer Institute's cancer disparities research partnership program: Experience and lessons learned

Rosemary S.L. Wong, Bhadrasain Vikram, Frank S. Govern, Daniel G. Petereit, Patrick D. Maguire, Maggie R. Clarkson, Dwight E. Heron, C. Norman Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: To increase access of underserved/health disparities communities to National Cancer Institute (NCI) clinical trials, the Radiation Research Program piloted a unique model - the Cancer Disparities Research Partnership (CDRP) program. CDRP targeted community hospitals with a limited past NCI funding history and provided funding to establish the infrastructure for their clinical research program. Methods: Initially, 5-year planning phase funding was awarded to six CDRP institutions through a cooperative agreement (U56). Five were subsequently eligible to compete for 5-year implementation phase (U54) funding and three received a second award. Additionally, the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities supported their U56 patient navigation programs. Results: Community-based hospitals with little or no clinical trials experience required at least a year to develop the infrastructure and establish community outreach/education and patient navigation programs before accrual to clinical trials could begin. Once established, CDRP sites increased their yearly patient accrual mainly to NCI-sponsored cooperative group trials (~60%) and Principal Investigator/mentor-initiated trials (~30%). The total number of patients accrued on all types of trials was 2,371, while 5,147 patients received navigation services. Conclusion: Despite a historical gap in participation in clinical cancer research, underserved communities are willing/eager to participate. Since a limited number of cooperative group trials address locally advanced diseases seen in health disparities populations; this shortcoming needs to be rectified. Sustainability for these programs remains a challenge. Addressing these gaps through research and public health mechanisms may have an important impact on their health, scientific progress, and efforts to increase diversity in NCI clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number303
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - 2014


  • Access to clinical trials
  • Cancer disparities
  • Clinical research
  • Patient accrual
  • Underserved populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'National Cancer Institute's cancer disparities research partnership program: Experience and lessons learned'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this