Working to Make Cancer Clinical Trials More Inclusive: A Q&A With Researcher Stephanie Walker

October 6, 2022
Brielle Gregory Collins, ASCO staff

Clinical trials are research studies that help doctors find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. Representation of all people affected by cancer is important in clinical trials so that doctors can ensure treatments work for patients of all different races and ethnicities.

Stephanie Walker, RN, is a metastatic breast cancer survivor and the project lead of the BECOME Research Project, which is focused on increasing Black patient participation in metastatic breast cancer clinical trials. In this podcast, Manali Patel, MD, MPH, MS, talks with Ms. Walker about her experience with metastatic breast cancer, what led her to patient advocacy, and her work leading the BECOME Research Project.

  • What was it like being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer? [3:06]

  • How has being a Black woman shaped your experience with cancer, and what led you to patient advocacy? [7:17]

  • What is the background of the BECOME Research Project, and why did you want to do research in this area? [12:12]

  • What were the findings of the BECOME Research Project? [18:03]

  • Why is it so important for clinical trials to be inclusive and accessible to all people with cancer? [21:38]

  • What work is currently being done to make clinical trials more inclusive? [23:12]

Dr. Patel is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, and a staff oncologist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California. She is also the 2022 Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Health Equity. Ms. Walker is a registered nurse, a leading patient advocate, and the project lead of the BECOME Research Project.

You can view Dr. Patel’s disclosure information in her individual biography linked to above. View Ms. Walker’s disclosures.

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