The Patient Perspective

he American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2017 brought some of the world’s greatest scientific minds to Washington, D.C., to address research challenges in cancer. But significant findings also came from cancer patient advocates and survivors who attended the meeting.

Every year, the Scientist↔Survivor Program (SSP) brings patient advocates and survivors to the AACR Annual Meeting. Through the program, they attend scientific presentations alongside cancer researchers and also participate in special sessions where researchers give talks tailored to them.

“It’s been so amazing for me,” said Aki Smith, an SSP participant from Los Angeles. The founding director of the Stomach Cancer Awareness Network, Smith quit her job to take care of her father, who underwent surgery to remove his stomach after his stomach cancer diagnosis in 2014. “All the leading GI [gastrointestinal] scientists are right here.”

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