Worried that blacks are disproportionately affected by cancer globally, the inaugural Global Congress on Oncology Clinical Trials in Blacks is scheduled for November 13 – November 15, 2018 at the Sheraton hotel, Ikeja Lagos.
According to previous studies, Black men are 60 per cent more likely to have prostate cancer than Caucasian men, and more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer than men of other racial and ethnic groups.
Additionally, the percentage rate of African-American men developing prostate cancer in their lifetimes to white men is 15 per cent to 10 per cent, and their risk of dying four per cent to two per cent.
A consultant oncologist at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, and Chairperson of the Congress, Prof Ifeoma Okoye, said although Black population is about 17 per cent of the world population (over one billion), Blacks are disproportionately affected by cancer globally.
Okoye said given the disproportionate burden of cancer in Blacks, it is important to have a significant number of Blacks participate in cancer clinical trials globally.
Unfortunately, she said the accrual of Blacks all over the world in clinical research remains low despite ongoing attempts to improve their participation and the under-representation of Blacks in clinical trials continues to magnify the cancer health disparities experienced by this group.
“Unfortunately, overcoming the barriers for successful clinical trial enrollment of Blacks continues to be a significant challenge.
Therefore, the Global Congress on Oncology Clinical Trials in Blacks is proposed to address the underrepresentation of Blacks in clinical trials,” she said.
The oncologist explained: “There is thus need to study/identify possible associations between this aggressive disease and gene variants, exposures to environmental stressors like discrimination, early life adversity and segregation; And to understand how the social environment interacts with these genetic changes, and oil the wheels of prostate cancer burden in men of African ancestry so that tailored approaches for prevention, diagnosis and treatment can be developed.
“These can only be done through clinical trials.”
The event is a landmark effort to address the global challenges of clinical trials for oncology among the black population.
Keynote addresses will be by world-renowned experts, including the Director General (DG) of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye.
The convener of the Conference is Prof. Folakemi Odedina of University of Florida, United States (U.S.).
The Conference Chairpersons are: Dr. Windy Dean-Colomb (US); Prof. Ifeoma Okoye (Nigeria); Dr. Edith Mitchell (US); Dr. Victoria Olaiya; Dr. Verna Vanderpuye (Ghana); Dr. Coleman K. Obasaju (US); Dr. Camille Ragin (US); Prof. Obiageli Nnodu (Nigeria); Dr. Omolara Fatiregun (Nigeria); and Ms. Mary “Dicey” Scroggins (US).