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Peer Clinical Trials Support Program

A free, over-the-phone service that helps Black or African American (AA) cancer patients learn more about clinical trials.

Learn more about the program

Coming early Summer 2022

The Peer Clinical Trials Support Program matches interested patients with a peer — a Black or African American cancer patient or survivor who is or has already gone through a clinical trial. This allows patients to hear from someone with a similar background who has “been there, done that” Patients can discuss their fears, questions, and concerns with a knowledgeable and empathetic guide.

Is Peer Support right for you?

Our trained Peer Specialists are here for you. They can share their experiences, provide information, and offer confidential support. If you are a Black or African American cancer patient and want one-on-one support to ask questions, talk about your concerns, or simply learn more about clinical trials from a peer, consider participating in the Peer Clinical Trials Support Program. Please note that Peer Specialists do not give medical advice.

To participate in this program, you must:

  • Identify as Black or African American
  • Be a cancer patient in active treatment
  • Be at least 18 years or older

 

The Peer Clinical Trials Support Program will begin supporting patients in early Summer 2022.

In the meantime, our Helpline navigators are here to assist you with any of your questions or concerns. Call us at 888-793-9355 or connect with a navigator via our web chat service.

What is the mission of the Peer Clinical Trials Support Program?

The Peer Clinical Trials Support Program is a unique and innovative program designed to improve cancer clinical trial enrollment among Black and African American cancer patients. This program hopes to increase knowledge and awareness of clinical trials, break down barriers, and empower patients to ask questions and become engaged in their treatment journey.

 

Why focus on the Black community?

Differences in cancer care are found everywhere from incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) rates to access and quality of treatment. These differences are often seen in the Black and African American community. For example:

  • African Americans have higher death rates than all other racial/ethnic groups for many, although not all, cancer types.
  • Despite having similar rates of breast cancer, Black women are more likely than White women to die of the disease.
  • Black men are twice as likely as White men to die of prostate cancer.

 

Why focus on clinical trials?

Cancer clinical trials are extremely important to evaluate the safety, usefulness, and impact on a patient’s quality of life, of cancer treatments. If all groups are not represented in clinical trials, they will not have the chance to benefit equally from the possibly life-saving treatments.

Currently research shows that:

  • Fewer than 1 in 20 adult cancer patients enroll in cancer clinical trials.
  • Of this small number, only 5% of those that participate are Black. 
  • Black patients are unlikely to be told about or offered a clinical trial as a treatment option compared to other groups. 
  • One of the reasons cancer health disparities continue to exist is due to underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in medical research.

 

Become a Peer Specialist

The Peer Clinical Support Program is not actively hiring but will accept applications on an ongoing basis. Review the following information to see if this might be a good role for you. Then follow the application instructions below.

 

What is a Peer Specialist?

In this program, Peer Specialists use their own lived experience as a Black or African American cancer patient and clinical trial participant to support other individuals. Peer Specialists offer confidential emotional, practical, and informational support to program participants.

A man drinking water from a bottle outside

Peer Specialists are professionally trained to support participants by: 

  • Sharing their personal experience of cancer and cancer clinical trials.
  • Providing education and resources on cancer clinical trials.
  • Empowering participants to have a voice and make informed, educated decisions about their treatment.
  • Encouraging patients to explore options instead of telling them what to do.
     

To become a Peer Specialist, you must:

  • Identify as Black or African American
  • Be a cancer patient or cancer survivor 
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have experience participating in a cancer clinical trial (past or present)

Qualifications for this role include good listening and communication skills and the ability to share personal experience. Peer Specialists must be legally authorized to work in the United States and have access to a reliable computer and internet connection.

 

Application process

If you are interested in applying, complete our Peer Specialist application. Applicants will be asked to participate in an interview to confirm if the role is a good fit for them.

Once selected, Peer Specialists will:

  • Complete all hiring documents, such as confirmation of clinical trial participation and a provider recommendation form.
  • Attend a 10-hour virtual training course.
  • Commit to at least 1 year in the program.

Peer Specialists will be offered compensation for their time.

Apply to become a Peer Specialist

Questions?

Contact Kara Downey, CSC’s Director of Clinical Services, to learn more about our Peer Clinical Trials Support Program.