Health Insurance Payer Type and Ethnicity Are Associated with Cancer Clinical Trial Enrollment Among Adolescents and Young Adults.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Purpose: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) have experienced inferior improvements in cancer survival outcomes. One potential explanation is the low rate of enrollment in cancer clinical trials. While the reasons behind this are multifactual, sociodemographic factors are probably contributory. We examined the impact of factors such as insurance type and race/ethnicity on clinical trial enrollment among AYAs treated for cancer at an academic medical center. Methods: We identified AYAs (ages 15-39 years) treated for cancer at the University of North Carolina between April 2014 and April 2019. Cancer registry data were linked to electronic health record data to associate treatment and sociodemographic factors with clinical trial enrollment. A multivariable log-binomial model was used to estimate adjusted risk ratios. Results: In a 5-year period, 1574 AYA patients were identified, 59% female, 21% non-Hispanic Black and 9% Hispanic. Overall, 37% of AYAs participated in any clinical trial and 14% enrolled on a therapeutic trial. When compared to publicly insured AYAs, those with private insurance [adjusted RR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.05-2.22] or with no insurance [adjusted RR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.34-3.33] were more likely to enroll in a therapeutic clinical trial. Hispanic AYAs were less likely to enroll [adjusted RR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.27-0.93] when compared to non-Hispanic White patients. Conclusions: Rates of clinical trial enrollment among AYAs vary based on health insurance type and race/ethnicity, suggesting possible disparities in access. Attention to resource, cultural, and language barriers may improve trial enrollment and cancer outcomes among vulnerable AYA subpopulations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sullenger, RD; Deal, AM; Grilley Olson, JE; Matson, M; Swift, C; Lux, L; Smitherman, AB

Published Date

  • February 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 104 - 110

PubMed ID

  • 34010032

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8864421

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2156-535X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/jayao.2021.0008


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States