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College of Nursing

  • BECOME research

Finding breast cancer patient voices

Among US racial/ethnic groups, Black women and men have the highest death rate and shortest survival for many cancers, including breast cancer according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

  • In the U.S., the mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women with breast cancer is 40% higher than for non-Hispanic white women.
  • Among Black people living with stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC), 8 out of 10 would consider participating in clinical trials.
  • Black people represent only 3% to 6% of patients in all cancer clinical trials.

What’s happening

The Black Experience of Clinical Trials and Opportunities for Meaningful Engagement (BECOME) is a new research initiative that aims to drive change by better understanding barriers to clinical participation for Black patients with MBC and identifying actions to increase participation. BECOME is sponsored by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBCA), a consortium of representatives from nonprofit organizations, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, and patient advocates, many of whom are living with MBC.

Taking action

Using real-life patient input, BECOME researches practical and actionable ways to make it easier for Black people living with MBC to take part in trials.

  • Better inform patients with outreach.
  • Inspire trust with diversity.
  • Ensure access by decreasing location barriers.
  • Address concerns and reinforce motivations on how racial/ethnic groups will benefit.

Tisha Felder, Associate Professor with the University of South Carolina College of Nursing served as Principal Investigator and provided insights and guidance throughout this effort.

“I was inspired to work on the BECOME project because it was patient-led. Whenever we need to know something, we go to experts. Patients are experts in their lived experience, and I am a firm believer that they always have insights and answers that we as researchers would never come up with on our own,” says Felder.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.