Charting the Future of Cancer Health Disparities Research

Get Permission

LEADING NATIONAL cancer organizations have released a joint position statement1 to guide the future of cancer health disparities research. The statement represents a unified strategy by ASCO, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute to foster cooperation across the cancer research community, ensuring that all patients— regardless of social demographics, socioeconomic status, or the communities in which they live— benefit from cancer research. 

According to the statement, cancer health disparities are pronounced and well documented. Medically underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minorities and individuals of lower socioeconomic status, experience worse cancer outcomes. 

The joint statement outlines the following top research needs and priorities: 

  • Defining and improving data measures and tools for cancer disparities research 
  • Addressing disparities in cancer incidence 
  • Addressing cancer survival disparities 
  • Improving community engagement in cancer research 
  • Redesigning cancer clinical trials to acknowledge and address cancer disparities 

In addition to specific recommendations in each of these areas, the statement also includes broad action items that can be taken to further the field of cancer research disparities as a whole, based on the current landscape and existing priorities. 

Read the full statement at full/10.1200/JCO.2017.73.6546. ■


1. Polite et al: Charting the Future of Cancer Health Disparities Research: A Position Statement From the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the National Cancer Institute. J Clin Oncol. July 24, 2017 (early release online). 

© 2017. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.