Demographic representation in clinical trials for cell-based therapy

Russell G. Saltzman, Dushyantha T. Jayaweera, Lina V. Caceres, Jairo A. Tovar, Mayra Vidro-Casiano, Vela Karakeshishyan, Jeanette Soto, Aisha Khan, Raul D. Mitrani, Ivonne H. Schulman, Joshua M. Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research is critical to fully assess the safety and efficacy of innovative therapies. With inadequate representation of demography, generalizability is impaired since pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics differ in these patient populations. This study was designed to analyze the voluntary participation rates of different demographic groups in cell-based therapy clinical trials conducted by the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. ISCI conducted eight clinical trials between 2007 and 2017. The trials enrolled patients with ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), aging-frailty, and Type-2 Diabetes. Participants received cell-based therapy (n = 218) or placebo (n = 33). Among the 251 participants, 29.5% were Hispanic and 20% were women. The proportion of individuals participating in each trial was compared to that of the respective disease populations attending University of Miami Health System clinics to calculate the participation to prevalence ratio (PPR). Distribution of women accurately reflected the population attending the University of Miami Health System in trials for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and aging-frailty but was under-represented in others. Similarly, Hispanics and whites were accurately represented in three of the five disease fields, with Hispanics under-represented in frailty and diabetes, and whites over-represented in DCM and IPF. Black patients were accurately represented in the diabetes trial but were under-represented in all others. This study provides insight into challenges of achieving representative inclusion in research. Novel community engagement strategies are necessary to improve inclusion of women and under-represented minorities in clinical research of cell-based therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100702
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Cell-based therapy
  • Clinical trials
  • Diversity
  • Generalizability
  • Health equity
  • Inclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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