(Black PR Wire) Washington – An initiative launched today
encourages newly-diagnosed African American cancer patients in Maryland to
consider clinical trials as the first-line option, not the last resort. The
effort is spearheaded by Advancing Cancer Treatment (ACT), a philanthropic
initiative that supports patients' access to the best in modern cancer
“Too few African
American cancer patients participate in clinical trials, which slows down the
progress of science and misses opportunities for patients to receive
cutting-edge treatment,” said Dr.
Nancy Dawson, founder and first president of a consortium of volunteer
oncologists working to promote clinical trials called Genito-Urinary
Multidisciplinary DC Regional Oncology Project or GUMDROP.
While African Americans suffer disproportionately from certain
cancers, they are underrepresented in clinical trials. Overall, less than 5
percent of cancer patients participate in clinical trials. For patients who
don’t participate in trials, 80 percent say it’s because their doctors didn’t
tell them the option exists.
Cynthia Heath, 56, of Bowie, MD., is urging other African American
patients to participate in clinical trials. Diagnosed with stage IV colon
cancer, Heath credits clinical trials with extending her life when doctors
initially told her she had a year to live.
“Clinical trials are helping more patients survive and experience
improved quality of life for many types of cancer,” said Dr. Adam Metwalli,
president of GUMDROP and Chief, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery
at Howard University Hospital in Washington.
Treatment (ACT) is recognizing Leadership Award winners in a series of public
awareness advertisements running in June in
and . The ads are intended to reward
those progressive physicians who are actively supporting their patients’ access
to the most advanced options for improved care, including clinical trials for
prostate, bladder and kidney cancer. ACT is funded by foundations committed to
improving the cancer patient experience and speeding up cancer research to
benefit cancer patients now and in the future.
Advancing Cancer Treatment is a philanthropic initiative that
supports patients’ access to the best in modern cancer treatments. The ACT
Leadership Awards recognize doctors and other medical professionals who help
patients access the best treatment options in modern cancer care through their
support of clinical trials and their knowledge and effectiveness in serving
GUMDROP is a
not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization formed to enhance patient outcomes
through greater cancer clinical trial awareness. For more information,
visit http://www.brownperformance.com/grants/act and .