Jeannine M. Salamone, Wanda Lucas, Shelley B. Brundage, Jamie N. Holloway, Sherri M. Stahl, Nora E. Carbine, Margery London, Naomi Greenwood, Rosa Goyes, Deborah Charles Chisholm, Erin Price, Roberta Carlin, Susan Winarsky, Kirsten B. Baker, Julia Maues and Ayesha N. Shajahan-Haq
Advocates bring unique and important viewpoints to the cancer research process, ensuring that scientific and medical advances are patient-centered and relevant. In this article, we discuss the benefits of engaging advocates in cancer research and underscore ways in which both the scientific and patient communities can facilitate this mutually beneficial collaboration.
We discuss how to establish and nurture successful scientist–advocate relationships throughout the research process. We review opportunities that are available to advocates who want to obtain training in the evaluation of cancer research. We also suggest practical solutions that can strengthen communication between scientists and advocates, such as introducing scientist–advocate interactions at the trainee level. Finally, we highlight the essential role social media can play in disseminating patient-supported cancer research findings to the patient community and in raising awareness of the importance of promoting cancer research. Our perspective offers a model that Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates have found effective and which could be one option for those interested in developing productive, successful, and sustainable collaborations between advocates and scientists in cancer research. Cancer Res; 78(20); 5723–8. ©2018 AACR.