Background: Disparities in the enrollment of minorities and elderly in cancer clinical trials have been reported in large national studies. We studied patient enrollment in clinical trials at William Beaumont Hospital for the years 2002 to 2013.
Methods: We obtained data on patient enrollment in cancer clinical trials for the time period of 2002 to 2013 from William Beaumont Hospital Community Clinical Oncology Program and Cancer Clinical Trials Office. We acquired data on cancer incidence at William Beaumont Hospital for the years 2002 to 2013 from the Beaumont Cancer Registry. Enrollment rate was calculated as the ratio of trial enrollment to the cancer incidence for different races and ethnicities, age groups and genders.
Results: The overall enrollment rate for the years 2002 to 2013 for all patients was 3.5%. The enrollment rate for men was significantly lower at 1.2% compared to 5.4% for women (p<0.001). The enrollment rates were similar for white and minority patients at 3.8% and 3.6% respectively. The enrollment rate was highest for the age group 31-49 years (6.9%) and lowest for the age group of over 75 years (0.8%).
Conclusions: The overall enrollment rate remains low. Enrollment rates were low, but similar for both white and minority patients. Increasing availability and access to clinical trials should increase enrollment rates for all patients. More efforts are needed to address the significantly low enrollment rates in all groups of patients, especially those over the age of 65 years.