VICC Patient Advocate to Advise NCI Group

August 15, 2008

by Dagny Stuart

Jane Condon, manager of Patient Advocacy for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been invited to join the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Directors Consumer Liaison Group, Advocates in Research Working Group (ARWG).

Patient advocates are increasingly playing an important role by participating in the design and oversight of cancer research.

The mission of the ARWG is to provide recommendations on how NCI can consistently integrate advocate involvement across the programs of the institute.

β€œI am excited about the opportunity to represent patient advocates in this national forum,” said Condon. β€œIt is crucial for patients and family members to have a voice in the design and implementation of cancer research projects. This working group will help ensure that the patient perspective is incorporated in the scientific process in a meaningful and effective manner.”

Currently, there are 12 research advocates at Vanderbilt-Ingram who work directly with the Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer and GI Cancer research programs. They sit in on various research and project meetings, serve as advisory committee members and provide input on research designs, informed consents and clinical trials. Condon coordinates the activities of the advocates and Vanderbilt-Ingram is one of the only cancer centers in the country with a leader like Condon dedicated to managing a research advocacy program.

The newly formed NCI working group is comprised of representatives from the advocacy community, cancer center directors, principal investigators in the Specialized Projects in Research Excellence program, extramural investigators and NCI staff.

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