Gender inequality in genitourinary malignancies clinical trials leadership

Alhajahjeh A., Abdulelah A. A., Hmeidan M., Kakish D., Sukerji R., Qtaishat L., ...More

World Journal of Urology, vol.42, no.1, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00345-024-04893-7
  • Journal Name: World Journal of Urology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Gender Studies Database
  • Keywords: Bladder, Cancer, Clinical trials, Health inequity, Kidney, Prostate
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Over the past 2 decades, there has been a growing interest in the significance of gender roles in healthcare and several efforts and initiatives have focused on increasing female representation in the medical field. Clinical trials play a very important role in shaping medical practice; moreover, the leaders of clinical trials often represent the upper echelon of researchers in any designated field. Presently, there is no data regarding women’s representation in urological oncology clinical trials leadership. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the extent of female representation in leading urological clinical trials. Methodology: To thoroughly examine the representation of females as principal investigators (PIs) in urological cancer clinical trials between 2000 and 2020, we conducted a comprehensive search of completed trials focused on kidney, prostate, and bladder cancer on We extracted relevant information regarding the PIs and analyzed the data using univariate analyses to identify any significant differences between male and female PIs. Results: A total of 9145 cancer clinical trials were conducted over the last 2 decades, and 11.3% (n = 1033) of them were urological cancer clinical trials. We were able to obtain detailed information about the principal investigators (PI) in 79.0% (n = 816) of the clinical trials, and we found that 16.8% (n = 137) of them were led by female investigators. Upon evaluating the characteristics of the PIs, female PIs had a significantly lower median age and median total citations as compared to male PIs (55.0 vs 59.0 and 5333 vs 7902; p-value < 0.001 and 0.006, respectively). However, there was no statistically significant difference between the termination rate, publication rate, funding source, cancer type, and the subject of conducting the clinical trials between male and female PIs. Conclusion: Between 2000 and 2020, only 16.8% of urological cancer clinical trials were led by a female PI, perhaps reflective of a low percentage of senior female researchers in the fields of urology, oncology and radiation oncology. Universities, research institutes and funding agencies should work to improve mentorship, representation and opportunities for female investigators to encourage more involvement for female researchers in these clinical trials.