Someone writes notes on document on a clipboard.

As reported in UCLA Health News, the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) conducted a study suggesting that cancer research centers could improve the enrollment of patients from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in clinical trials by addressing the costs of translating consent documents into languages other than English. The study revealed that clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies typically cover translation costs, but those not sponsored by industry often operate on fixed budgets, limiting funds for translation. The research found significant disparities in consent document translation for patients with limited English proficiency, potentially contributing to low representation from underrepresented groups.

The authors recommend addressing this cost barrier to enhance diversity in clinical trial participation. The UCLA Cancer Center has initiated a program to support independent investigators in obtaining translation funding to address this issue. The study emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts and acknowledges the need for nationwide initiatives to promote inclusive enrollment in clinical trials. The UCLA research team, led by senior author, Dr. Edward Garon, Director of the Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program Area at JCCC, published these findings in Nature. 

In the UCLA Health News report, Dr. Michael Teitell, director of the JCCC, was called to comment, saying, "Although it is difficult to acknowledge that those of us involved in conducting clinical trials may bear some responsibility for the lack of enrollment of diverse populations, identifying the forces leading to these findings provides targets for improvement for ourselves and other cancer researchers. We have since launched a program to help independent investigators have access to translation funding that will be supported by the cancer center and run by Dr. Cummings in her JEDI role to help ensure this disparity is addressed.”