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Headshot of Jen Jen Yeh
UNC Lineberger’s Jen Jen Yeh, MD.

The PROmoting CLinicAl TrIal EngageMent for Pancreatic Cancer App Study (PROCLAIM Study) is now enrolling eligible patients at UNC Health in Chapel Hill. Conducted in partnership with Ugwuji Maduekwe, MD, MPH, MMSc, and her team at Medical College of Wisconsin, the PROCLAIM Study will focus on breaking down barriers to diverse clinical trial population recruitment. These barriers commonly include racial bias, distrust, poor communication, and culturally representative clinical trial information.

Based on work by UNC Lineberger’s Marjory Charlot, MD, MPH, MSc, this two-part, multi-site study will utilize a mobile health initiative to promote greater trial participation from Black pancreatic cancer patients. In Part 1, adult patients who have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will be interviewed to determine how they might benefit from improved education and communication regarding clinical trials. Results of these semi-structured interviews will then be used to develop a culturally informed mHealth application tailored to the patients’ feedback and needs.

Part 2 of the trial involves a randomized clinical trial, which will examine whether patients who use the mHealth app have improved discussion about trials with their healthcare providers. Researchers hypothesize that greater access to relevant information and more equitable recruitment efforts will help to reduce racial disparities in trial populations.

Headshot of Marjory Charlot
UNC Lineberger’s Marjory Charlot, MD, MPH, MSc.

This study is made possible by the generous support of the Lustgarten Foundation and its Lustgarten Equity, Accessibility, and Diversity (LEAD) Project grant, which was awarded in 2022 to Maduekwe and Jen Jen Yeh, MD, professor of surgery and pharmacology at the UNC School of Medicine and director of the UNC Lineberger Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence (PCCE). Additional investigators at UNC include Charlot and the PCCE’s Ashwin Somasundaram, MD.

Headshot of Ashwin Somasundaram.
UNC Lineberger’s Ashwin Somasundaram, MD.

“We’re grateful that Lustgarten recognizes how important it is to effectively address these barriers to trial access for underserved patients,” said Yeh. “Interventions such as mHealth apps could be crucial to ensure that historically marginalized groups are fairly represented in pancreatic cancer clinical trials, better informed about care options, and more effectively served by their providers.”

If you are interested in learning more about the PROCLAIM Study, find clinical trial information on the PCCE website or call (919) 966-7706 to speak with Brent Henderson, the study coordinator.

About the Lustgarten Foundation

The Lustgarten Foundation is the largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research in the world. Based in Woodbury, N.Y., the Foundation’s mission is to cure pancreatic cancer by funding scientific and clinical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pancreatic cancer; providing research information and clinical support services to patients, caregivers, and individuals at high risk; and increasing public awareness and hope for those dealing with this disease. Since its inception, the Lustgarten Foundation has directed nearly $225 million to research and has assembled the best scientific minds with the hope that one day, a cure can be found. Thanks to separate funding to support administrative expenses, 100% of your donation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research. For more information, visit

—Tyler Rice, UNC Lineberger Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence