AMA Wire

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012

News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians

Study suggests GLB cancer survivors well represented in clinical trials

Study suggests GLB cancer survivors well represented in clinical trials

Despite disparities in other health areas, gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) cancer survivors are twice as likely as heterosexual cancer survivors to have participated in cancer clinical trials, according to a small study recently presented at the fifth American Association for Cancer Research Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities.

The researchers collected data on cancer survivors from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in five states—Massachusetts, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Alaska and California—that included a question about self-identified lesbian, gay and bisexual status.

"We thought there would be an under-representation of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in the data," said Jennifer M. Jabson, a leader of the study, in a news release. Instead the results indicated that while 12.5 percent of GLB cancer survivors participated in clinical trials, only 6 percent of heterosexual cancer survivors did so.

At this point, the researchers don't have a clear explanation for their findings. Next steps include attempting to replicate their findings in a larger more comprehensive study.

GLBT rights covered during AMA advisory committee meeting

During its Nov. 11 business meeting, the AMA Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Issues hosted an education session and caucus on the state of GLBT rights around the country, led by attorney Janson Wu. Participants discussed pending and settled court cases and how they will impact GLBT health and well-being. Wu concluded by praising the AMA for being a recognized advocate and leader on health-related issues that are important to this population.