National Patient Advocate Foundation creates movement to push cancer innovation

This morning, the National Patient Advocate Foundation formally released its plan to increase cancer innovation in a goal to get cancer breakthrough therapies to patients sooner.NPAF, a national non-profit that helps patients receive access to quality cancer care, created the Project Innovation movement to enhance access to clinical trials, policy changes, research collaborations, data sharing and funding options.Nancy Davenport-Ennis, a two-time breast cancer survivor and founder of the NPAF, said they are working with researchers, advocates, doctors and legislators to find solutions to overcome the obstacles slowing down cancer innovation, including a drop in federally funded research and private investment in biotechnology and inefficiencies researchers and companies encounter when pushing treatment breakthroughs to the clinic. The group released its paper "Securing the Future of Innovation in Cancer Treatment" outlining how it will work to overcome these obstacles and more.Launched at the 50th anniversary of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the program coincides with ASCO's theme this year of "Science and Society." In addition to improving scientific funding and research, scientists and activists are appealing to the public at large to get behind better cancer care--research, treatment, screening, access to healthcare, survivorship and overall quality of life. "I thought what a wonderful instance of serendipity," she says. "All stake holders will come together with issues that ASCO is talking about, and those same stakeholders know the importance of innovation. Without innovation, we don't find cancer cures." The NPAF is partnering on the program with legislators, researchers, other non-profits and oncology organizations, including The Oncology Nursing Society, The Association of Community Cancer Centers, The Colon Cancer Alliance, Cancer Support Community and Friends of Cancer Research. The group is also calling on patients, survivors, advocates and caregivers to share their own personal stories of how cancer innovation has impacted their lives. "We are on a cusp of major transition," she says. "We feel that Project Innovation can energize the American people ... With the launch of the program, it's an open invitation for anyone in America to join us."