Partnering around cancer clinical trials (PACCT): Study protocol for a randomized trial of a patient and physician communication intervention to increase minority accrual to prostate cancer clinical trials

Susan Eggly, Lauren M. Hamel, Elisabeth Heath, Mark A. Manning, Terrance L. Albrecht, Ellen Barton, Mark Wojda, Tanina Foster, Michael Carducci, Dina Lansey, Ting Wang, Rehab Abdallah, Narineh Abrahamian, Seongho Kim, Nicole Senft, Louis A. Penner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Cancer clinical trials are essential for testing new treatments and represent state-of-the-art cancer treatment, but only a small percentage of patients ever enroll in a trial. Under-enrollment is an even greater problem among minorities, particularly African Americans, representing a racial/ethnic disparity in cancer care. One understudied cause is patient-physician communication, which is often of poor quality during clinical interactions between African-American patients and non-African-American physicians. Partnering Around Cancer Clinical Trials (PACCT) involves a transdisciplinary theoretical model proposing that patient and physician individual attitudes and beliefs and their interpersonal communication during racially discordant clinical interactions influence outcomes related to patients' decisions to participate in a trial. The overall goal of the study is to test a multilevel intervention designed to increase rates at which African-American and White men with prostate cancer make an informed decision to participate in a clinical trial. Methods/design: Data collection will occur at two NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers. Participants include physicians who treat men with prostate cancer and their African-American and White patients who are potentially eligible for a clinical trial. The study uses two distinct research designs to evaluate the effects of two behavioral interventions, one focused on patients and the other on physicians. The primary goal is to increase the number of patients who decide to enroll in a trial; secondary goals include increasing rates of physician trial offers, improving the quality of patient-physician communication during video recorded clinical interactions in which trials may be discussed, improving patients' understanding of trials offered, and increasing the number of patients who actually enroll. Aims are to 1) determine the independent and combined effects of the two interventions on outcomes; 2) compare the effects of the interventions on African-American versus White men; and 3) examine the extent to which patient-physician communication mediates the effect of the interventions on the outcomes. Discussion: PACCT has the potential to identify ways to increase clinical trial rates in a diverse patient population. The research can also improve access to high quality clinical care for African American men bearing the disproportionate burden of disparities in prostate and other cancers. Trial registration: Clinical registration number: NCT02906241(September 8, 2016).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number807
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2 2017


  • Clinical trials
  • Health disparities
  • Patient-physician communication
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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