Purpose: To determine the ethnic/racial distribution of patients entered in national pediatric cancer clinical trials relative to the patient population served.
Methods: The ethnic/racial distribution of 29,134 patients < 20 years of age entered in clinical trials conducted by the Children's Cancer Group (CCG) and Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) between January 1, 1991 and June 30, 1994 were compared with the expected distribution of patients of the same age in the United States. The latter was predicted from the 1989 to 1991 crude incidence data of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program applied to the 1990 United States census.
Results: Of the patients on CCG and POG trials, 11.6% were reported to be Hispanic, 10.4% were African-American, and 4.7% were other racial groups. The expected values were 9.1%, 10.7% and 4.3%, respectively. Representation of minority patients was equal or greater than expected for 24 of 27 subgroups analyzed.
Conclusions: In the United States, minority children with cancer are proportionately represented on clinical trials of the two national pediatric cancer cooperative groups. They and their families are provided with an equal opportunity to access clinical cancer trials and the potential benefits of cancer research.