Marjory Charlot, MD, MPH, MSc
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology, School of Medicine
Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Patient Engaged Research
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation
Testing a mobile health app to promote participation of Black women in breast cancer clinical trials.
Black women in the United States are much more likely to die from their breast cancer when compared to all other racial and ethnic groups. There are many factors influencing this disparity, including a lack of representation in clinical trials. Clinical trials are essential for advancing cancer treatments, improving survival, and providing access to new therapies; but results from clinical trials are not felt equitably when diverse groups are not represented in the patient enrollment. Research has shown that Black patients are just as willing to enroll in clinical trials when informed about them and asked to participate. Poor patient-provider communication and lack of culturally competent clinical trial information are two major factors that contribute to their underrepresentation in trials. Mobile health apps are transforming the way in which patients access health information and communicate with their care team and could address the clinical trial education and communication gaps experienced by Black patients. For her Conquer Cancer Advanced Clinical Research Award, supported by BCRF, Dr. Charlot and her team will develop, refine, and pilot test an app designed to prepare Black women with breast cancer to engage in discussions with their providers about clinical trials as a treatment option.
Dr. Charlot and team will use patient and community based participatory research methods in developing and assessing the app, which means the app will be created with (not just for) Black women with breast cancer. They will then test the app in two cancer hospitals, and results from this pilot can be used to establish a larger multisite study.
Black patients are just as willing to join a research study if their doctors tell them about it and then ask them to join.—Dr. Charlot
Marjory Charlot, MD, MPH, MSc is a medical oncologist and health services researcher at the University of North Carolina (UNC). She is also the Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Patient Engaged Research at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her clinical practice has always centered on serving patients receiving care at safety net or public health institutions, given her commitment to providing high quality care to patients from communities disproportionately impacted by cancer. Her research focuses on understanding and addressing health inequities in cancer care and cancer outcomes. Early on, her work examined the association of patient race, language, and comorbidities on utilization of cancer health services and cancer mortality. Now, she focuses on engaging Black patients, caregivers, and community-based organizations as research partners to identify strategies to address racial inequities in the delivery of high-quality cancer care. She has a specific interest in examining the impact of structural racism on the underrepresentation of Black individuals in cancer clinical trials. Dr. Charlot plans to employ community engaged research approaches to develop solutions to reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities in cancer care and cancer outcomes.
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