Science of Cancer Health Disparities
September 29-October 2, 2023
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
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.
The following is a brief overview of the opportunities that were available to cancer survivors and patient advocates at the Orlando conference.
Welcome and Opening Session
Patient Advocate Keynote
The invisible barriers in cancer care: Our fight for health equity
Aki A. Smith, Hope for Stomach Cancer, Torrance, California
PAtient ADVOCATE Posters
Patient advocates were 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
Roundtable discussions were facilitated by leaders in patient advocacy as part of the conference’s professional networking roundtable sessions. All attendees were welcome to join the discussion.
TOWN HALL AND PANEL DISCUSSION: ENGAGING COMMUNITIES TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS OF THE REIGNITED CANCER MOONSHOT
ORGANIZED BY AACR OFFICE OF SCIENCE POLICY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
As highlighted in the 2023 AACR Cancer Progress Report, cancer death rates must decline faster to achieve the reignited Cancer Moonshot goal of reducing overall U.S. cancer death rates by 50% by 2047. One of the ways to reach this goal is to engage with community partners to address the needs of the populations they serve. During this plenary session, attendees learned how community needs are being addressed through federal initiatives and local activities that also complement the goals of the National Cancer Plan.
Patient Advocacy Lounge
The AACR Patient Advocacy Lounge provided an opportunity to connect with patient advocates attending the meeting. This meeting space was open to all patient advocates attending the conference.
Patient Advocate Networking LUNCH
A special networking event for patient advocates where they discussed the research and policy topics most pressing to them.
PAtient Advocate Roundtable and Lunch: Increasing diversity in clinical trials
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. Conversations at this roundtable centered around the importance of incorporating diversity in clinical studies; discussed some strategies the NCI has put forth to recruit people with diverse backgrounds and increase awareness; and explained how trials are now being designed with specific mechanisms to include/recruit diversity.
Special Session: advocacy at the bench: A discussion about Building a Diverse, equitable, and inclusive cancer community
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 highlighted patient advocacy efforts that are addressing barriers to DEI and developing programs to ensure equitable opportunities for all patients with cancer.
CANCER HEALTH DISPARITIES ADVOCACY SUPPORTERS
The AACR gratefully acknowledges the following supporters.