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Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) recently announced a groundbreaking initiative to increase minority representation in cancer clinical trials. All future SU2C-supported research grant proposals will now be required to include and address crucial issues related to recruitment and retention of patients from ethnic groups to improve diverse participation in cancer clinical trials.

The lack of diverse participation in cancer clinical trials has been ongoing for decades, largely due to socio-economic, cultural, trust and other barrier issues.

“As one of the leading funders of cancer research, we believe it is our duty to ensure that minority representation in cancer clinical trials is addressed. Now, more than ever, better understanding of the role of biology in cancer treatment, advances in precision treatment, and development of new technologies demands that we also make significant improvements in diverse clinical trial participation,” said SU2C CEO Sung Poblete, PhD, RN. “We are confident that this initiative will make a significant and meaningful impact to ensure all communities have equal access to potentially life-saving treatments.”

Despite an overall decline in U.S. cancer deaths since 1991, not all patients have benefited equally from advances in prevention, early detection, precision medicine and targeted cancer treatments. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, currently only four percent of clinical trial participants are Black, and four percent are Hispanic, and 15 percent are Asian, despite minority groups overall in the U.S. having both the highest death rate and shortest survival rate for most cancers.

SU2C’s Committee for Health Equity in Cancer Clinical Trials in collaboration with SU2C scientific leadership, has developed procurement language that will now be used to solicit proposals for SU2C Dream Teams, Research Teams and other grants in the SU2C research portfolio to increase diverse participation in cancer clinical trials.

In addition, Stand Up To Cancer announced plans to fund up to $6.4 million for the SU2C Health Equity Breakthroughs Research Team researching cancers affecting underrepresented populations, supported by a transformational grant from Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. SU2C is expected to issue the Request for Applications seeking proposals later in the first quarter of 2020. Proposals may address cancers that have a higher prevalence in a specific racial or ethnic population; cancers that are more deadly among specific minority populations; or may address the need for more effective treatments for specific cancers for patients of diverse backgrounds.

The SU2C Health Equity Breakthroughs Research Team will be selected and launched in 2020. For information, or to receive the Call for Ideas when it is issued, visit “Funding Opportunities.” To learn more about Genentech’s efforts in this area, visit “Advancing Inclusive Research.”