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Virtual Patient Advocate Forums

The AACR is committed to providing educational programming to patients with cancer and patient advocacy communities to support their collective mission to find cures for all cancers. AACR Patient Advocate Forums invite leaders from patient advocacy, academia, industry, and healthcare communities to discuss pressing topics and the latest discoveries in cancer research.  Forums are virtual, at no cost to attendees, and open to the public. 

2024 AACR Patient Advocate Forums

Special thanks to our 2024 Supporters

Bristol Myers Squibb Genmab
Novartis Regeneron

2023 AACR Patient Advocate Forums

what’s next for drug Discovery and development

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The next decade promises to be a time of dramatic change for the cancer research community in terms of how new therapies will be discovered and developed. In keeping with advances in data science, drug discovery will be one of the areas of cancer research most significantly transformed through the application of artificial intelligence (specifically machine and deep learning). Enormous amounts of data, and data integration, will be required to power this information-driven transition, but the search for new cancer drug (and biologic) targets is well underway. These new approaches will present unique challenges for all aspects of drug development, including clinical trials and the regulatory review of these new agents. This AACR Patient Advocate Forum will explore what to expect in the months and years ahead in terms of the rate of progress for these new approaches.

Should we expect AI (Artificial Intelligence) to transform the field of drug discovery and enable an entirely new generation of safe, and more effective therapies for cancer – or is this too much to hope for at this point? Join us, as we meet some of the pioneers in the field who will share their opinions and thoughts on the possible.

the evolution of FDA regulatory science and its impact on Cancer

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

This is an important time for regulatory science in cancer research. The increasing number and diversity of medical interventions, data opportunities, and novel clinical trial designs are challenging traditional regulatory processes and spurring the need for significant innovation in regulatory practice. Patient expectations for earlier access to innovations and for involvement in regulatory decision-making add to the opportunities for new methodologies and data sources. This AACR Patient Advocate Forum explores how regulatory science is evolving to meet the growing complexity of cancer research and optimize regulation to support the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers.

the impact of advanced technologies on cancer research

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Powered by advanced technology, improved understanding of various cancers is proceeding at unprecedented speed, resolution, and scale.  These new technologies are often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution as these advances are revealing new targets, mechanisms, and approaches for better diagnosing cancer earlier, developing novel cancer therapeutics, and ultimately preventing cancer. This Forum explores the impact of some of the most promising of these advanced technologies on cancer research and how it is (or will) accelerate progress against this complex array of diseases we call cancer.

Special thanks to our 2023 Supporters

Bristol Myers Squibb Genmab

2022 AACR Patient Advocate Forums

revolution in cancer clinical trials

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Clinical trials in oncology are increasing in complexity due to enrollment challenges, protocol deviations, and a staggering amount of data that are increasing costs and adding months to their timelines.  Innovative trial designs may help address some of these challenges. This Forum reviews the standard features of traditional or gold-standard randomized clinical trials and discusses innovative trial designs that are changing the way new treatments are developed for patients with cancer.

A new frontier: the very early detection of cancer signals

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Late-stage diagnosis is a major contributor to cancer-related mortality, as patients diagnosed with advanced cancers have fewer treatment options and a greater likelihood of death. Early detection of cancer may, therefore, help reduce cancer-related mortality around the world. Screening programs for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers have demonstrated the power of early cancer detection. Despite these successes, easy screening methods are currently unavailable for some of the world’s deadliest cancers and there is substantial debate on the potential of screening tests to identify early “signals” for multiple cancers to cause unintended harm. This Patient Advocate Forum highlights the latest research in cancer’s very early detection, as well as discusses the benefits and potential negatives of these new cancer screening tests.

The Transformative Potential of Biomarkers

August 23, 2022

Each person’s cancer has a unique pattern of biomarkers, making biomarker testing a critical part of diagnostics and treatment. This Forum explores where and how biomarkers are changing research and care to benefit patients with cancer.

The Science of Cancer Survivorship

June 28, 2022

Recent studies highlight the growing number of cancer survivors and the unique challenges that come from the late and long-term effects of cancer treatments. Accordingly, cancer survivorship is gaining recognition as an important, albeit understudied, area of research. This Forum discusses research studies advancing the field of cancer survivorship, identifies gaps in knowledge, and explores the future direction of cancer survivorship research.

Special Thanks to Our 2022 Supporters

Bristol Myers SquibbDaiichi-SankyoIncyte
Pfizer Oncology

2020-2021 AACR Patient Advocate Forums

How Evolution Shapes Cancer

December 13, 2021

Evolutionary theories are shaping how we understand the evolution of cancer and cancer metastasis. Integrating evolutionary theory into cancer treatment is key to recognizing and controlling therapeutic resistance and developing proactive therapy regimens. This Patient Advocate Forum explores how cancer evolution will develop new biomarkers and more effective therapeutic targets.

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The Potential of Big Data and Machine Learning for Oncology

October 12, 2021

Data science and machine learning promise to revolutionize cancer treatments, but the role of patients has yet to be clearly defined in this new world of large datasets and real-world evidence. This Patient Advocate Forum explores how scientists are translating data into clinically relevant knowledge, discusses the role of patients in these efforts, and highlights the opportunities for using big data to advance cancer care.

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The Promise of Immuno-Oncology

May 4, 2021

The rapid development of immuno-oncology therapies for cancer is transforming the cancer treatment landscape and bolstering hope for many cancer patients. But why doesn’t it create a durable response for all patients with cancer? This Patient Advocate Forum explores the field of immuno-oncology, highlights how immuno-oncology harnesses the body’s immune system to prevent and fight cancer, and discusses why some cancers are resistant to this approach.

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Precision Oncology Advances in 2020: Looking Ahead to 2021

February 16, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic dominated headlines in 2020. The response by the research community was marked by unprecedented scientific collaboration and rapid research advances culminating in the authorization of two vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, less than 12 months after the first reported COVID cases. But there were also a number of advances made in cancer research that should be highlighted as we look forward to 2021. Most notably in new targeted agents, advanced diagnostic technologies, and a renewed commitment to increase public understanding of cancer health disparities. A number of cancer communities also saw years of commitment to cancer research pay off with a record number of drug approvals. This virtual AACR Patient Advocate Forum highlights some of the recent breakthroughs in cancer research and showcases what we might be able to expect in the year 2021.

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October 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has sickened more than 22.8 million people globally and claimed the lives of more than 796,000 people around the world. It threatens to reverse decades of research progress in the fight against cancer and jeopardize the future care and treatment of patients with cancer. The AACR is working diligently to keep all members of the cancer community informed and safe from infection. Advocates from across the cancer community joined this free virtual forum to get the latest information on COVID-19 and cancer.

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special thanks to our 2021 supporters

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Regeneron Sanofi Genzyme