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Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference

September 29-October 2, 2023
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Orlando, Florida

Cancer survivors and advocates are important members of the research community and valuable participants at the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved.

Please note that this meeting will take place as an in-person event in Orlando and will live-stream content for virtual participation. Additionally, the meeting content will be recorded and made available as an on-demand program after the conference. Please see the Registration page for details.

The following is a brief overview of the opportunities available to cancer survivors and patient advocates at the conference.

Welcome and Opening Session

Friday, September 29, 2023 | 4-6 P.M.| Room: Salons 5-9

Patient Advocate Keynote
The invisible barriers in cancer care: Our fight for health equity
Aki A. Smith, Hope for Stomach Cancer, Torrance, CA

PAtient ADVOCATE Posters

Friday, September 29, 2023 | 7-8:30 P.M.

Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 6:30-8 P.M.

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 6-7:30 P.M.

Location: Salons 1-4

Patient advocates have been invited to submit abstracts on initiatives and programs led by, or in partnership with, patient advocates to help reduce cancer health disparities.

Continental breakfast and Professional networking roundtables

Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 8-9 A.M. | Topic: Patient Advocacy/Community Engagement

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 7:30-8:30 A.M. | Topic: Clinical Trial Recruitment

Monday, October 2, 2023 | 8-9 A.M. | Topic: TBD

Location: St. Augustine AB

Roundtable discussions facilitated by leaders in the patient advocacy field will be part of the conference’s professional networking roundtable sessions. All attendees are welcome to join the discussion

Patient Advocacy Lounge

Saturday, September 30 – Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 10 A.M. – 5 P.M | Monday, October 2, 2023 | 10 A.M. – 1 P.M. | Room: Whitehall & Patio

The AACR Patient Advocacy Lounge provides an opportunity to connect with patient advocates attending the meeting. This meeting space is open to all patient advocates attending the conference. Refreshments will be available.

Patient Advocate Networking LUNCH – Invitation Only

Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 12:30–2:30 P.M. | Room: Whitehall

A special networking event for patient advocates to discuss the research and policy topics that are most pressing for them.

Lunch will be served.

Email adv[email protected] for additional information or to suggest a topic.

PAtient Advocate Roundtable and Lunch: Increasing diversity in clinical trials – Invitation Only

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 1-2:30 P.M. | Room: Whitehall

A disproportionately high percentage of clinical trial participants are White. Sometimes this is due to local demographics, but it is often due to the structure/mechanism of standard trials. As a result, study outcomes may not represent the whole population, or can be biased/skewed based on one group/race.  We will talk about the importance of incorporating diversity in clinical studies and discuss some strategies the NCI has put forth to recruit people with diverse backgrounds, increase awareness, and how trials are now being designed with specific mechanisms to include/recruit diversity.  

Lunch will be served.

Email [email protected] for additional information.

Special Session: advocacy at the bench: A discussion about Building a Diverse, equitable, and inclusive cancer community

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 5-6 P.M. | Room: Salons 5-9

Successful research programs value the contributions of all patients with cancer and work towards understanding (and addressing) the challenges that hinder their participation in lifesaving cancer research and treatments. Patient advocates play a critical role in reaching that goal by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion to foster collaboration, empathy, and psychological safety between patients, scientists, and clinicians. This session will highlight patient advocacy efforts that are addressing barriers to DEI and developing programs to ensure equitable opportunities for all patients with cancer.


Individuals wishing to attend the meeting must register online. Registration will not be processed without full payment. All fees must be in U.S. currency, drawn on a U.S. bank. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are also accepted for payment.

AACR members must log into their member account when registering online to obtain the member rates (member dues must be paid through 2023 prior to registering). Online registrations will be confirmed by email immediately. Receipts can also be obtained online.

If you are a non-member patient advocate registering for this conference, please complete the advocate verification form to receive the reduced registration rate. Applicants will be notified by email to complete the registration process. Email [email protected] for questions.

Learn More


The AACR gratefully acknowledges the following supporters.

Bayer Pfizer Oncology

Additional AACR CHD Resources:

AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report

Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Design and Implementation of Clinical Trials Workshop in Partnership with AACR

AACR Constituency Group: Minorities in Cancer Research

Last Updated: 09/7/23