In January 1996, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in conjunction with the National Cancer Advisory Board, the American Cancer Society, the Oncology Nursing Society, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women's Health and Office of Research on Minority Health, organized a conference entitled "Recruitment and Retention of Minority Participants in Clinical Cancer Research." The 2-day conference brought together national experts on minority health and clinical trials research to share perspectives and strategies to improve the rate of inclusion of ethnic minorities in research. The proceedings of the conference were published by NCI (National Cancer Institute, 1996d). In the Executive Summary, conference participants concluded that the achievement of equity in clinical trials will require that four goals be met:
The committee supports the findings and recommendations of the five conference panels, some of which are summarized below with respect to specific issues and populations.
ETHICAL ISSUES IN RECRUITMENT OF MINORITY PARTICIPANTS
Three ethical principles should guide the behavior of individuals who conduct clinical research, particularly with respect to oversight by institutional review boards (IRBs), according to Nancy Kass of Johns Hopkins University. These ethical principles are respect for autonomy, beneficence, and justice. Occasionally, these principles conflict with each other, which requires priorities to be considered.
CULTURAL ADAPTATIONS FOR OVERCOMING BARRIERS
Cultural factors significantly affect the recruitment of Native Americans into clinical trials, according to Linda Burhansstipanov, Director of