More than 160 patients and caregivers enjoyed sessions on the basics of cancer immunotherapy and the latest developments in cancer research. Another popular session included a panel of patients discussing their involvement with clinical trials and the importance of participating in early research.
“Right now, there is a halo of awareness around immunotherapy but there’s a basic need to help people understand what it is and how it can treat cancer,” says Sharon Slade, director of strategic initiatives at the Cancer Research Institute. “These events allow us the opportunity to present the latest science in a way that is easy for patients to understand and connect them with the world’s experts in various types of cancers. Our goal is to empower patients to be their own self-advocates when it comes to their treatment.”
Clinical trial navigators were also on site – by appointment only – to help patients find appropriate studies.
Overall, attendees found the event valuable, with 94% of those surveyed indicating they would recommend the Summit to others. Equally as impressive, more than 70% indicated that they felt more favorable towards participating in a clinical trial after attending.
The next event in this free series will take place in Chicago on August 5 and will include disease-specific breakout sessions covering brain cancer, gynecological cancer, and melanoma.
Three additional Summits are planned this year across the US.
On June 22, the Foundation announced a partnership with the Cancer Research Institute with the goal of advancing the development of new focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy treatments. Several preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that focused ultrasound can elicit an immune response; thus, it may play an important role along with cancer immunotherapy treatments. Both organizations recognize the intersection of these two unique treatment modalities and are moving forward to explore how they may work synergistically to fight cancer.
Jessica Foley, PhD, chief scientific officer at the Foundation, said, “We are incredibly excited about this partnership. Drawing on the expertise of our two organizations and our diverse research communities, we expect to advance more streamlined and rigorous research that will enable quicker progress toward clinical trials, while also enabling better standardization in the field and increased consistency of protocols.”