USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
has launched a study to determine how financial assistance for costs
associated with clinical trial participation might increase enrollment,
particularly among low-income patients and racial and ethnic minorities.
The study, known as Improving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials
(IMPACT), assesses social and cultural barriers to clinical trial
Through IMPACT, all patients who qualify for a clinical trial at USC Norris are offered the opportunity to apply for a reimbursement program for out-of-pocket expenses associated with clinical trial participation, including travel and lodging. This includes patients seen at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, the USC Norris Treatment Center in Newport Beach, California and anyone referred to USC Norris by affiliates and partners. Reimbursement is based on a sliding scale up to seven times the U.S. federal poverty guidelines, and information will be available in multiple languages to encourage diversity in clinical trial participation.
than 5% of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials
nationally, with ethnic and racial minorities enrolling at even lower
rates. Economic concerns play a role in the lower participation, as
low-income patients may lack adequate financial resources to pay for
travel, childcare and time away from work.
of potentially life-prolonging therapies may be delayed, and patients
may miss out on promising treatments as a result of chronic under
enrollment. Low diversity in clinical trials also creates a lack of data
on the nuances of personalized cancer treatment within underrepresented