Building Better Patient Advocates Through Authentic Partnerships

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Sabrina Hanna, Founder & CIO of the Cancer Collaborative, joined me in this Fireside Chat. We explored topics around precision medicine, innovation in oncology, how to build better patient advocates, and the current gaps when it comes to patient-centricity in Pharma.

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: What is your stance or policy that you want to drive towards in regards to how cancers are diagnosed and, specifically, the use of biomarkers?

A: That’s a really great question because I think the whole premise of precision medicine came about, with more use of next-generation sequencing. There’s been a lot of debate about surrogates, especially talking about the real endpoints that we really should be looking at. I think that’s a really great question to be asking because overall survival is really the most important thing when it comes to these therapies. If you’re asking a decision-maker, maybe yes, that’s what’s the most important. When you’re asking industry, that might be the most important too.

But, if you’re talking to a patient, they’re thinking about the quality of life. Can they go to work? Can they take care of their families? Are they able to have relationships with their partners, families, or friends? Are they able to do the things that they would normally be able to do without cancer? I think that the question on surrogates is really interesting and I think when we’re talking about policy and policy change, we really need to be asking those questions too. Just to go back to biomarkers, I think the way that we are treating cancer now, and we’re still really at the infancy of precision medicine, is so different than how it was being treated even five years ago.

Lung cancer, for example, is one disease but it’s actually 12 different diseases. I think the biomarkers are really important. Thinking even just a little further ahead and probably something we don’t even want to talk about right now today, we definitely don’t want to, but thinking about how is that going to change the care landscape? Are medical oncologists going to be treating by the tumor size or are they going to be treating by the characteristics of the tumor? The same applies to patient groups. Are they going to be like lung cancer and colorectal cancer? And myeloma patient groups, are they going to be mutation-specific patient groups? It’s a really interesting question…

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Sabrina Hanna, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.

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