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American Lung Association Announces Initiatives to Diversify Lung Cancer Trials


The American Lung Association recently announced additions to their campaign that will work to diversify clinical trials with more representation for Black Americans. 

Working as part of its The Awareness, Trust and Action program, the American Lung Association will now expand its 2022 campaign. The organization will include newer initiatives to increase representation for Black Americans in clinical trials for lung cancer specifically. 

Along with increasing awareness amongst Black Americans with lung cancer about the vitalness of clinical trials for treatment, the American Lung Association will dispel any myths surrounding these trials. The organization will also work to motivate Black Americans to help with accurate representation in clinical lung cancer trials through conversations with their doctors. 

“We are facing an issue in cancer care in this country. Black Americans are underrepresented in clinical research, so I am working with the American Lung Association to fix that,” said the Founder and CEO of Black Women in Clinical Research, Danielle Mitchell, per a statement. “I started my career as a clinical research coordinator because my grandmother had cancer.”

“I saw the lack of diversity in clinical trials, and I have set out to change that because representation matters,” she added. 

Although they are not well represented in clinical trials for lung cancer treatment, Black Americans are amongst the racial and ethnic groups with the most risk for developing this specific type of cancer. 

According to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, Black Americans, specifically Black American men, are 11% more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer. When diagnosed, the cancer is more fatal with Black American men having an increased mortality rate of nearly ten percent. 

Despite Black Americans being most at risk for developing lung cancer, they are less likely to be diagnosed, particularly during the early stages. 

Per the latest 2022 State of Lung Cancer report by the American Lung Association, Black Americans were 15% less likely to be detected with cancer in the earlier stages. Also, 19% less likely to get surgery to treat cancer, Black Americans were 10% more likely not to get any treatment at all. 

With these disparities in the health world, Black Americans are 12% less likely to make it past the five-year survival mark when compared to white Americans. 

“Black Americans have the highest mortality rate in lung cancer and stand to benefit the most from clinical trials but instead, they are underrepresented,” said the Chair of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at John H. Stroger per a press release for the launch of The Awareness, Trust and Action program. “This is unfortunate and deserves our immediate attention.”

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