Children's Oncology Group's 2023 blueprint for research: Diversity and health disparities
Pediatric Blood and Cancer
The Children's Oncology Group (COG) Diversity and Health Disparities Committee's (DHDC's) mission is to guarantee the highest standard of care for children and adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer regardless of ethnic, racial, gender, or socioeconomic background. We strive to identify and address issues of disparity within the existing scientific structure of COG and to support research across COG to improve survival by ensuring equitable access to COG-sponsored clinical trials. We are committed to advance COG-led research identifying mechanistic drivers of disparities and, concurrently, evaluating interventions to alleviate disparities in the COG trial setting. As trials identify the most promising therapies, diverse representation is critical to ensure that findings are relevant to everyone. Factors impacting clinical trial participation among vulnerable populations are complex, consisting of barriers at societal, systems, and individual levels. Recent efforts by investigators within DHDC demonstrated that trial-embedded collection of family-reported sociodemographic data and social determinants of health (SDoH) is feasible and acceptable in the context of COG. Diversity in the pediatric oncology workforce is essential and one potential approach to improving representation on clinical trials. To support and retain diverse oncology providers and researchers, a Minority Young Investigator Award (MYIA) was created to facilitate opportunities for graduating trainees and YIs with an interest in childhood cancer disparities research within COG. Although there are challenges to achieve the DHDC's priorities, only through collaboration and support for this work we will be able to elucidate mechanisms underlying inferior survival outcomes for historically marginalized children and AYA, and more importantly, implement interventional investigation to improve outcomes.
Winestone, Lena E.; Beauchemin, Melissa P.; Bona, Kira; Kahn, Justine; Prasad, Pinki; Robles, Joanna M.; and Velez, Maria C., "Children's Oncology Group's 2023 blueprint for research: Diversity and health disparities" (2023). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 1368.