Tomi Akinyemiju, PhD

Funded by the 2021 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer

Black patients are more likely to die from breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers than White patients. There are many reasons for these differences, including barriers to accessing treatment. In recent years, scientists have created new and better treatments that match a cancer’s unique biology, changing the way that we treat the disease. The first step to getting these therapies is genomic testing, which looks closely at the cancer to understand what might be causing it. Black patients are less likely to get genomic testing and these new therapies than White patients. If we don’t improve access to genomic testing, Black patients will continue to experience barriers to life-saving treatments, causing even bigger differences in survival between Black and White patients. In this study, we will look at the factors that cause differences in genomic testing between Black and White patients. We will also interview Black patients and cancer doctors about their experiences and preferences related to genomic testing. We will use our results to create strategies to improve access to genomic testing for Black patients. In the future, we hope to use our strategies at Duke Cancer Institute and in community hospitals in the Duke Cancer Network to reach cancer patients who are mostly Black, rural, and low-income, a group with large barriers to genomic testing.

Location: Duke Cancer Institute - North Carolina
Proposal: Implementing Evidence-Based Interventions to Enhance Equity in Oncology Genomic Testing
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