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Cancer Community Partnership

About Us

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Community Partnership was created by the NCI Center for Cancer Training in 2020 with the goal of connecting the scientific and medical community with individuals personally affected by cancer. The Cancer Community Partnership is a collaboration between individuals affected by cancer, patient advocates, researchers, and health care providers. We hope that, together, we will be able to learn from one another through inclusive conversations and to influence the development of cancer science and cancer care by integrating the patient experience at all levels.

Our Mission 

We are a learning community with three primary goals:

1. For early career scientists to learn about the patients' perspectives and develop skills around communicating with a lay audience 

2. For individuals affected by cancer to have an opportunity to share their experiences; and for research advocates to share the collective patient perspective and help advance science

3. To bring together people from across the cancer continuum to learn from one another 

Our primary activities will be interactive events covering crowd-sourced topics, including presentations by cancer researchers and trainees, discussions, and panels between researchers, patients, and healthcare providers. Members of the community are welcome to attend any of our events which will be offered at a variety of times throughout the year to allow for flexibility in scheduling. We are looking for advocates established in the cancer community to assist us in forming long-term relationships in the community, train our trainees in effective communication, and help ensure that everyone is supported in the program.


In the Know… Seminar Series

The “In the Know..” seminar series aims to foster communication between scientific researchers and the cancer community through interactive discussions based on curated topics.  Speakers will review scientific concepts that are often mentioned in the media or during scientific presentations but are not always easily understood by members of the cancer community.  With explanations of complex terminology and data in lay language, patients and advocates can learn first-hand from the scientists working on innovative cancer research.  Previous topics included breast cancer genetics, CRISPR, and the tumor microenvironment. If there is a topic that you would like to learn more about, let us know via email.

Cancer Community Partnership Seminar Series: In the Know...

Our Team


Bob Riter
Patient Advocate, Cornell Community Cancer Partnership

Christine Hodgdon
Patient Advocate, The Storm Riders Network

Desiree Walker
Health Educator and Cancer Patient Advocate, Young Survival Coalition 

Laurie Cynkin
Advocacy Relations Manager, Office of Advocacy Relations, NCI



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