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Clinical Trials Resource Connects Black Women to Breast Cancer Trials

02 February, 2024

We're sharing this news from our friends at TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance:

The TOUCH, the Black Breast Cancer Alliance – which drives the collaborative efforts of patients, survivors, advocates, advocacy organizations, health care professionals, researchers and pharmaceutical companies to work collectively, with accountability, towards the common goal of eradicating Black Breast Cancer – has partnered with Carebox to launch the Carebox Connect experience optimized for breast cancer patients.

The new web application gives patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals an easy and effective way to search and match to breast cancer clinical trials. 

Carebox Connect can now be accessed from the When We Tri(al) website as an integral part of the movement to increase the participation of Black women in clinical trials.

Black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Black women continue to be vastly underrepresented in clinical trials, accounting for only 3% of the clinical trial participants leading to FDA approval of cancer drugs between 2008 and 2018.

Because the vast majority of people who participate in clinical trials are white, there simply is not enough research about how breast cancer treatments work for Black women or how they experience breast cancer differently. When We Tri(al) is a call to action of a fierce, resilient community of Black women and has successfully garnered over 15,000 Black women into clinical trial portals in the past year.

The Carebox Connect trial database is synchronized daily with the clinical trial data maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Applying its human-supervised AI, Carebox converts the unstructured text in that describes eligibility criteria for enrollment into a searchable index of clinical criteria for matching with patient characteristics. This allows patients and families to complete a questionnaire about their particular diagnosis, treatment history, genetic testing, and other relevant information to then identify potentially relevant clinical trials automatically.

“When We Tri(al) is about educating Black women about research with words they can spell from voices they can trust … The questionnaire-based trial matching approach of Carebox Connect makes clinical research more accessible to our community.”

Ricki Fairley,CEO and Co-Founder, TOUCH, the Black Breast Cancer Alliance

As Ricki Fairley, the CEO and Co-Founder of TOUCHBBCA, explains: “We are on a mission to advance the science for Black Breast Cancer. We must get more Black Breasties into clinical trials to get drugs that have been tested on our bodies. When We Tri(al) is about educating Black women about research with words they can spell from voices they can trust. We are ecstatic to partner with Carebox. The questionnaire-based trial matching approach of Carebox Connect makes clinical research more accessible to our community and gives us information to measure our impact."

Caroline Daigle, Carebox VP of Services, adds: “Increasing diversity in clinical trial participants is an FDA mandate and top-of-mind for our pharma company customers that sponsor clinical trials. Objectives for diversity and inclusion can only be achieved when the drug research industry partners with leading communities of patients like the Black Breasties of TOUCHBBCA.”

“Our digital platform and call center navigators reach tens of thousands of patients every month in every community and segment of the patient populations for all conditions. Every partner we add to the Carebox Connect Network extends that reach and brings the treatment options available only in clinical trials to the broadest audience. We are proud to be able to support the wonderful work of TOUCHBBCA and will continue to expand our network of partners to reach as many patients as possible, especially those that have historically been underserved.”

Access Carebox Connect here.

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