Dr. Duska & Dr. Ring: Improve Cancer Prevention and Clinical Trial Access Across U.S.

April 17, 2024 by   |   Leave a Comment

The article, UVA Health Seeks to Improve Cancer Prevention, Clinical Trial Access Across U.S., discusses efforts by experts at the University of Virginia (UVA) Cancer Center to enhance cancer prevention and increase access to clinical trials, particularly for rural and medically underserved populations in the United States. Dr. Linda R. Duska and Dr. Kari L. Ring, specializing in gynecologic cancer, propose simple steps outlined in the medical journal Gynecologic Oncology to address these disparities, potentially benefiting over 75 million people.

The main barriers identified include a shortage of healthcare providers, long travel distances, and financial concerns, compounded by the closure of rural hospitals over the past two decades. To improve early cancer detection, the experts advocate for expanded genetic testing and increased HPV vaccination rates, especially in rural areas where rates are notably low. Telemedicine is suggested as a means to facilitate cancer screening and education.

In terms of clinical trials, the experts recommend decentralizing trial locations to make participation more accessible, possibly leveraging telemedicine. They also stress the importance of involving community healthcare providers to encourage participation and advocate for prevention efforts. Currently, only a small percentage of cancer patients participate in clinical trials, limiting access to innovative treatments.

Dr. Duska and Dr. Ring believe that implementing these straightforward measures could significantly enhance cancer care and save lives, especially in underserved areas. Their work aligns with UVA Cancer Center’s broader mission to improve cancer care, recognized by its designation as one of the 56 comprehensive cancer centers in the United States by the National Cancer Institute.



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