Expanding access to early phase trials: the CATCH-UP.2020 experience.
BACKGROUND: Disparities in cancer outcomes persist for underserved populations; one important aspect of this is limited access to promising early phase clinical trials. To address this, the National Cancer Institute-funded Create Access to Targeted Cancer Therapy for Underserved Populations (CATCH-UP.2020) was created. We report the tools developed and accrual metrics of the initial year of CATCH-UP.2020 with a focus on racial, ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomically underserved populations.
METHODS: CATCH-UP.2020 is a P30 supplement awarded to 8 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers with existing resources to rapidly open and accrue to Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ETCTN) trials with emphasis on engaging patients from underserved populations. Sites used patient-based, community-based, investigator-based, and program-based tools to meet specific program goals.
RESULTS: From September 2020 to August 2021, CATCH-UP.2020 sites opened 45 ETCTN trials. Weighted average trial activation time for the 7 sites reporting this was 107 days. In the initial year, sites enrolled 145 patients in CATCH-UP.2020 with 68 (46.9%) representing racial, ethnic, rural, and socioeconomically underserved populations using the broader definition of underserved encompassed in the grant charge. During the initial year of CATCH-UP.2020, a time impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, 15.8% (66 of 417) and 21.4% (31 of 145) of patients enrolled to ETCTN trials at network and at CATCH-UP sites, respectively, were from racial and ethnic minority groups, a more limited definition of underserved for which comparable data are available.
CONCLUSION: Targeted funding accelerated activation and accrual of early phase trials and expanded access to this therapeutic option for underserved populations.