Sikander Ailawadhi, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses the importance of mitigating racial and ethnic disparities in health care in multiple myeloma (MM).
He said that health care disparities have been an “ongoing issue” for patients with cancer, but recent years have brought disparities into greater focus, especially in MM.
“We’re becoming more and more of a multicultural, multiethnic demographic. I think some of these disparities are becoming more and more prominent,” he said.
Some of the key issues, he said, are addressing disparities in survival, treatment access, and clinical trial inclusion. It’s critical to include a diverse group of patients in clinical trials, he emphasized, because patient diversity impacts the generalizability of their results to the wider population that will use a therapy once approved.
“The benefit, the safety, the side effects, all of that has, to a large extent, never been studied in a lot of those populations where the drugs are getting used,” he said. “You can see that there’s a discrepancy.”