Health Services Research and Quality Improvement
OPTIONS & TOOLS
DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.6549 Journal of Clinical Oncology - published online before print May 28, 2021
Disparities in reporting and representation of women, older adults and racial minorities in immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) clinical trials.
Background: Representation and outcomes of women, older adults, and racial minorities in ICI trials has not been previously described. Methods: MEDLINE and Embase were searched to identify ICI RCTs. Data for trial characteristics, proportion of trials reporting race, age and sex as well as the proportion of patients by race, age and sex enrolled in ICI trials was collected. Descriptive statistics were reported for trials reporting minority representation and proportion of included patients by race, age and sex. Disparities in representation were calculated using enrollment incidence disparity (EID) and enrollment incidence ratios (EIR) by comparing trial enrollment against U.S. population-based estimates acquired from the SEER 18 incidence database. The relationship of EID to key trial characteristics were compared using standard parametric and non-parametric statistical tests. Trends in EIR were analyzed using the Joinpoint Regression Analysis software. Results: 108 ICI trials from 2009 to 2020 with 48,360 patients were included in this analysis. All RCTs reported sex (101/101). 78 trials reported race (72%), of which only 41 trials (38%) reported data on all 5 U.S. racial categories (Black, White, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American). Participation of Black patients was reported in 66 trials (61%), White participants in 78 trials (72%), Asians in 69 trials (64%), Native Americans and Pacific Islanders in 41 trials (38%), and Hispanics in 24 trials (22%). Age categories were inconsistently defined, and 80 trials (74%) reported the proportion of patient by age categories. Subgroup analyses of clinical outcomes by race, age and sex were reported in 17 (22%), 62 (79%) and 57 (73%) trials respectively. Women (trial proportion [TP]: 32%; EIR: 0.77), patients aged ≥ 65 years (TP: 42%; EIR: 0.74), Black participants (TP: 1.8%; EIR: 0.17) and Hispanic participants (TP: 5.9%; EIR: 0.67) were largely underrepresented, and Asians were overrepresented (TP: 15.9%; EIR: 2.64). Black patients were underrepresented across all cancer types. Similarly, women, older adults ( > 65 years of age) and Hispanic patients were consistently underrepresented across cancer types with few exceptions. Representation of older adults increased significantly from 2010-2020 (APC: 2.72), while representation of Black patients decreased significantly from 2009-2020 (APC: -23.37). Black patients were found to be significantly underrepresented in phase III trials (p = 0.0005), trials with OS as the primary endpoint (p = 0.004), and PD1 inhibitor trials (p = 0.002). Hispanics were significantly underrepresented in PD1 inhibitor trials (p = 0.003). Conclusions: There is both suboptimal reporting about participation and underrepresentation of women, racial minorities (particularly Black patients) and older adults in ICI trials as compared to their cancer incidence.