Labcorp and CCORN Collaborate to Assess Social, Economic Impacts of Disparities in Cancer Care

By News Release


Labcorp and Community Clinical Oncology Research Network, LLC (CCORN) will collaborate to better understand the impact of disparities in precision medicine for people with cancer. Information gathered from a patient registry and biobank will be used to help design future cancer clinical trials in diverse populations.

Labcorp and CCORN are joining forces to ensure oncology clinical research reaches community oncology practices serving individuals from diverse populations who are living with cancer,” said Prasanth Reddy, MD, MPH, FACP, Labcorp’s senior vice president and head of oncology. “While progress has been made to improve outcomes in cancer medicine, especially over the past two decades, current standards of care remain woefully inadequate, due in part to a lack of access and diversity in clinical trials, as well as limited access to advanced diagnostic testing. Advanced diagnostic testing offered by Labcorp, much like genomic sequencing, is critical to ensure the right drug reaches the right patient at the right time in their cancer journey. The

PREFER (PRospective rEgistry oF advanced stage cancER) patient registry will provide key insights derived from clinical and lab data on the unmet needs among people with cancer from diverse populations, helping us reduce the impact of health care disparities and fully realize the power of precision medicine for these patients.”

Patient registries are observational study methods used to collect standardized information about a group of patients who share a condition or experience. PREFER will enroll up to 2,500 patients with advanced solid-tumor cancer from multiple sites across the United States beginning Sept. 1, 2021. OmniSeq INSIGHT, a comprehensive genomic and immune-profiling, tissue-based test that incorporates next-generation sequencing technology, will be used to help identify the prevalence of actionable biomarkers and driver mutations that are unique to different ethnicities.

As a part of their collaboration, Labcorp and CCORN will also create a biobank, enabling the broader oncology community to access real-world evidence and identify the source of disparities. Information from the biobank and patient registry could prove useful in improving the design of oncology clinical trials, assist in patient recruitment efforts, and help encourage the expansion of genomic profiling testing in diverse populations.

“Diverse populations already suffer from a lack of access to adequate cancer diagnosis and treatment, including reduced screening rates and staging at diagnosis, along with the financial challenges people often face following a diagnosis of cancer,” said Dr. Kashyap Patel, founder and Chairman of CCORN, President of the Community Oncology Alliance and CEO of the Carolina Blood and Cancer Care. “Drug development processes have been relatively unsuccessful in reflecting demographic diversity in clinical trials, which further contributes to disparities in care and outcomes for those groups. It’s imperative that we determine how and why disparities occur, and this collaboration with Labcorp will be a major step in this regard.”

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend and position clinical trials as a treatment option for cancer, yet less than 5% of patients diagnosed with cancer are enrolled in these trials due to lack of awareness, social determinants of health, and geographic and logistical obstacles. By ensuring diversity in trials, the oncology community will have a deeper understanding of how to continue advancing personalized medicine in cancer care and thereby improve outcomes for all patients.

Additionally, a 2020 American Association for Cancer Research report on cancer disparities estimated that 34% of cancer deaths among U.S. adults age 25 to 74 could be prevented if disparities in clinical trial participation were actively addressed.