Howard University Cancer Center Expands Access to Clinical Cancer Trials for African Americans

The Howard University Cancer Center has partnered with the global technology platform, Driver, to expand access to advanced therapies for African American cancer patients receiving care at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. This effort aims to match Black cancer patients to cancer clinical trials at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Clinical trials provide patients with access to leading physicians, breakthrough medicines, advanced technologies, and groundbreaking treatments before they are widely available to the public. Historically, African Americans have been largely underrepresented in clinical trial research, which has greatly reduced patient survivability compared to other ethnicities.

“Howard University’s Cancer Center serves a population that is around 90 percent African American. For many of the cancers that we commonly treat, this group has some of the highest mortality rates of any racial or ethnic group,” says Dr. Carla D. Williams, Howard University associate professor of medicine and public health and interim director of the Howard University Cancer Center. “Working with Driver and the NCI increases the efficiency of providing our community with access to cutting-edge treatment options. This brings these treatments within reach of people who otherwise might not have access.”

Dr. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, a master’s degree in gerontology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Howard University.

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