Cancer innovation at REV: Interaction to action forum

left to right: Dr. Mitch Golant, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Christopher Gayer

On Oct 18, Mitch Golant and I had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural REV: Interaction to Action meeting in Austin, TX, co-hosted by LIVESTRONG and Genentech.  The goal of this meeting was to provide a platform for unconventional thinking, innovative problem-solving and unique idea-exchange among a diverse group of thought leaders in the fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.  It was clear from the introduction, as world renowned motivational poet Sekou Andrews took the stage and craftily blended the line between cancer innovation and art that REV was not going to be your typical professional meeting.

The REV meeting was segmented to focus on three key areas in the current cancer  survivorship landscape including: 1) Freeing thee data and revolutionizing research, 2) Elevating the patient voice in the fight against cancer, and 3) Pushing the envelope on innovative collaborative partnerships.  In each of these focal areas, an impressive cast of distinguished speakers offered their perspectives around opportunities for action and progress moving forward.

The cast of speakers was extremely diverse and accomplished including: Joe Selby, the Executive Director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI); Andrew C. von Eschenbach, Former Director of the National Cancer Institute; Ethan Zohn, winner of Survivor: Africa, cancer survivor, and cancer activist; and Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning The Emperor of All Maladies: The Biography of Cancer.  In addition to delivering the keynote address at the REV conference, Dr. Mukherjee spoke with us about his thoughts regarding the role of collaboration versus competition in cancer research, and his experience delivering care as a medical oncologist.

Overall, we left the REV meeting with a renewed perspective of our work in the broader cancer survivorship context, and having connected with many new thinkers and perspectives around the future of cancer care.

About Chris Gayer

Christopher Gayer joined the Cancer Support Community in February 2012 as Research Manager of the Research and Training Institute. Chris is a Gero-psycho-social researcher in the end stages of finishing his dissertation in Gerontology from the University of Kentucky. He received his B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University. Chris has extensive research experience and interest in gero-psychology and decision making studies. He is especially interested in understanding the role of patient-physician communication in the context of cancer treatment decisions.

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