SELECT was a landmark trial – the largest U.S. cancer prevention trial ever launched. This Phase III study of selenium, vitamin E, selenium and vitamin E together, or placebo was designed to assess the effect of these supplements on the incidence of prostate cancer. Funded by the National Cancer Institute and conducted by SWOG, the study opened in August 2001 and quickly exceeded its accrual goal of 35,533 men.
One in four was a minority participant.
In this excerpt from their conversation, Sandy and Karen describe the unique challenges of accruing
minority participants to clinical trials, and how they creativity addressed them.


Cancer is blind to age, race, economic background, and national borders. That's why inclusion is a hallmark of SWOG. Group leaders throughout history have made expanding clinical trial access a priority, so as many people as possible have access to cutting-edge cancer treatments.

In the 1990s, under Group Chair Dr. Charles Coltman Jr., SWOG actively recruited more women and minorities into trials, welcomed several new member institutions with a majority population of minority cancer patients, and forged research relationships with historically black colleges and universities. The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), launched in 2001, enrolled an astonishing 35,533 men - 21 percent men of color - in just 33 months. This makes SELECT one of the most diverse cancer prevention trials ever completed.

"A lot of them...we couldn't send a letter to their homes because their homes were no longer there."

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