The purpose of this study is to interview patients and providers at Phoenix Indian Medical Center and Mayo Clinic Arizona to identify perceptions, experiences, and perceived factors influencing referrals and enrollment on clinical trials in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mayo Clinic Arizona.
The overall goal of this line of research is to enhance the hospitality, cultural responsiveness, and efficiency with which a leading cancer center can collaborate with a neighboring treatment hub for an important, underserved population within that cancer center’s catchment area.
American Indian and Alaska Native people experience higher rates of cancer due to a variety of environmental, epigenetic, nutritional, and metabolic as well as socio-economic factors including limited access to and completion of state-of-the art therapies. AI/AN patients present with cancer at more advanced stages and have the worst 5 year cancer specific survival of all racial groups in the United States.1 Factors explaining this lower cancer survival remain elusive. Preliminary research has shown that Native Americans are at greater than 50% lower odds of receiving adjuvant therapy in primary cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer.2[PSHM1]
Despite all the pieces of a strong referral relationship with medical oncology and the significant opportunity offered by myriad trial protocols, there is a lack of consistent referral for second opinions and treatment for radiation therapy between Mayo Clinic and PIMC for patients, particularly those with breast and GI malignancies.