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Addressing Racial Disparities in Health Care

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Black People are Dramatically Underrepresented in Clinical Trials

Black people have the highest death rates and shortest survival of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. Yet they are significantly underrepresented in studies evaluating the drugs that might improve their prognosis. A ProPublica analysis found that, in trials for 24 of the 31 cancer drugs approved between 2015 and 2018, less than 2% of participants were Black, even though Black Americans make up 13% of the population.

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What Physicians Can Do to Tackle Issues of Race in Cancer Screening and Treatment

Disparities in screenings among those with a family history of cancer are clearly documented in the medical literature. Still, little has changed in our practice to address them.

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Why Minorities Are Underrepresented in Clinical Trials and What Physicians Can Do About It

The idea that racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials has been well documented. That disparity has meant that cancer therapies are not being tested in the full demographic of people who will one day make use of them in the clinical setting.

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New CAR T-Cell Therapy “Very Exciting” Because it Gives Patients One Year Without Progression

In September, the FDA accepted idecabtagene vicleucel (bb2121) for priority review. This investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy is designed to treat patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three previous therapies, including an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor, and an anti-CD38 antibody.

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Dexamethasone Use in Multiple Myeloma and COVID-19 Isn’t the Same

Corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone and dexamethasone have emerged as a valuable intervention to improve outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Randomized trials have indicated that these drugs reduce mortality in seriously ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation and supplemental oxygen.

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Doctors Treating Minority Ovarian Cancer Patients May Not Be Aware of Their Own Implicit Biases

Evidence strongly suggests a higher mortality rate and lack of high-quality treatment among Black ovarian cancer patients than white patients. Although the exact reason for this disparity isn’t clear, factors ranging from socioeconomic inequality to access to health care may play roles.

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How Would You Treat a 60-Year-Old Woman with Relapsed Refractory Myeloma?

A 60-year-old woman was previously treated with a standard VRD combination followed by a stem cell transplant on lenalidomide maintenance therapy, which was stopped due to diarrhea. Three years later she had an increase in her "M protein" and her myeloma has returned. How would you approach her treatment?

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