Howard U. Cancer Center Expands Blacks’ Access to Clinical Trials

The Howard University Cancer Center has partnered with global technology platform Driver to expand access to advanced therapies for African-American cancer patients receiving care at Howard University Hospital in D.C.

The effort aims to match Black cancer patients to cancer clinical trials at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.

“Howard University’s Cancer Center serves a population that is around 90 percent African American,” said Carla D. Williams, Howard University associate professor of medicine and public health and interim director of the Howard University Cancer Center. “For many of the cancers that we commonly treat, this group has some of the highest mortality rates of any racial or ethnic group. Working with Driver and the NCI increases the efficiency of providing our community with access to cutting-edge treatment options. This brings these treatments within reach of people who otherwise might not have access.”

Clinical trials provide patients with access to leading physicians, breakthrough medicines, advanced technologies, and groundbreaking treatments before they are widely available to the public. Historically, African Americans have been largely underrepresented in clinical trial research, which has greatly reduced patient survivability compared to other ethnicities.

“Driver’s mission is to empower every individual to access the best cancer care, regardless of someone’s background, location, or circumstances,” said Dr. Petros Giannikopoulos, Driver co-founder and president. “We believe every cancer patient deserves the best treatment, and that’s why we launched Driver for All, an initiative to bring Driver’s technology and treatment access to communities, which historically have had some of the least access.”

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