How Can We Accelerate Cancer Research with Online Education and Social Media? – September 26

By Dr. H. Jack West

We are in the midst of a remarkable transitional time in cancer care that is exciting but challenging, since we now have patients divided into smaller and smaller groups based on molecular markers.  Along with that, more and more patients and caregivers are participating in social media and online discussion groups.  What are the implications for these changes, and how can we use them to accelerate the pace of clinical research?  I’d like to focus on a couple of key questions for our next lung cancer tweetchat on September 26, at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific.

1) What are leading barriers to clinical research? Which ones might be addressed by connecting members of the lung cancer community online?

2) Can patients & caregivers share data, e.g., Patients Like Me, to  facilitate better understanding & generate more interest from pharma companies in studying lung cancer patient groups (potentially narrow ones like those with ROS-1 rearrangements)?

3) Can we lower barriers by making it easier for patients to learn about & travel to participate in trials? Share air miles to help people travel for trials? Offer housing as a network? Telemedicine visits to minimize travel?

I sincerely hope we haven’t reached the pinnacle of our efficiency in cancer research, because it’s a frustratingly, even maddeningly slow process. So what other ideas do you have? Your ideas could lead to a faster pace for the trials that lead to new treatments in lung cancer.

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