Collaborative Program Will Provide Support for Quality-of-Life Research for Cancer Survivors
Vice President Joe Biden released today a final report on the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, naming the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute’s (HESI’s) THRIVE Network as a participant in the Moonshot’s efforts to further advance the task force’s goals. The Moonshot program is focused on making a decade’s worth of progress in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer in five years.
“While there have been great advances in cancer treatment and survival rates, sometimes those treatments result in other chronic health issues for survivors. We are excited to be a part of such an important initiative and proud that our vision for THRIVE has translated into a program that will support the growing need for research that has the potential to both broaden the lifetime benefit of existing cancer treatments and enhance the reach of future therapies,” said Syril Pettit, Executive Director at HESI. “The THRIVE Network will bring together a range of experts in patient quality of life, from drug development and regulatory compliance to clinical practice and patient perspective, which will add significant resources and information to the Moonshot program and truly help survivors not just live, but thrive.”
Established by HESI in February 2016, THRIVE began with a first of its kind seed grant program focused on improving quality of life for cancer patients and survivors. Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) and the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) joined HESI in the initiative to chart new futures for cancer patients and survivors by making quality of life an active research priority. The HESI, Friends, and NPAF partnership marks the launch of the THRIVE Network that brings together a collective 65 years of organizational experience in improving the lives of cancer patients and survivors through innovative and effective research, outreach, and educational programs that will benefit the nearly 20 million cancer survivors in the United States today, and countless future survivors.
“The paradigm for what defines a successful cancer cure must be expanded to go beyond just 5-year cancer event-free survival. It must balance oncologic efficacy and the toxicity and late effects of cancer and its therapies as measured by the quality of life over a lifespan to the patient their family. We must better understand these toxicities and late effects of cancers and their therapies for this first generation of a large number of survivors. Only by understanding these complications may they be prevented or ameliorated. This is why the THRIVE program is essential to promote the discovery of cancer therapy safety or toxicity signals and by knowing this information will we be able to develop ways to ameliorate or prevent complications,” added Steven Lipshultz, MD, FAAP, FAHA, Pediatrician-In-Chief at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and member of the THRIVE Advisory Board.
The THRIVE Network bridges patients, clinicians, basic researchers, drug developers, technologists, and government scientists in an effort to define and reduce immediate and long-term adverse effects from cancer therapy. “Throughout cancer treatment, we want people to feel better while they’re working to get better,” said Rebecca Kirch, Executive Vice President of Healthcare Quality and Value at NPAF. “Minimizing side effects through this THRIVE research initiative is a critical part of preserving patient quality of life.”
The THRIVE partners are committed to creating an active forum to enhance the understanding of the causes of treatment-related adverse effects both during treatment and in years following, enhance the options available to patients to ensure that they can both survive cancer and thrive, and to double the amount of funding dedicated to research in this arena over the next five years. This understanding will be achieved by funding patient-relevant research as well as a 2018 Network meeting which will bring together grantees, scientists, clinicians, patients, technologists, regulators, and others.
The THRIVE Network is also committed to publishing consensus recommendations from the Network meeting as a blueprint to guide stakeholder communities in pursuit of efficient and effective actions to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life. “By working to improve drug safety and reduce toxicities, THRIVE is working tirelessly to improve patients’ quality of life, an aspect of treatment that is oftentimes not the main focus of researchers,” said Friends’ President & CEO, Jeff Allen, PhD. “We should all remember that even a small change can lead to big results for patients and their families.” The THRIVE Network will benefit from HESI’s hundreds of partner organizations and extensive experience convening public and private sector scientists to develop applied health solutions and the broad patient engagement and outreach networks of Friends and NPAF.
“The response to THRIVE’s launch has been amazing – from clinicians, researchers, and patient groups alike,” added Pettit. “There is both tremendous need and incredible opportunity to improve lives. We are very proud to be part of it.”
HESI is a non-profit, 501c3 charitable organization that convenes leading scientists from the public and private sector to identify emerging health challenges and solutions, translates science from research to application, and enhances the protection of human and the environment health worldwide. For more information, visit www.hesiglobal.org.
ABOUT THE NPAF
The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) is a national non-profit organization that has provided the patient’s voice for two decades in policy efforts that improve access and affordability in healthcare. As the advocacy affiliate of the Patient Advocate Foundation, NPAF translates the individual experiences of tens of thousands of patients assisted by PAF’s patient services programs into actionable policy solutions. NPAF is dedicated to improving health care access, quality, and affordability through policies and practices that will optimize outcomes and experiences for all patients and families at any age and any disease stage.
Friends of Cancer Research drives collaboration among partners from every healthcare sector to power advances in science, policy and regulation that speed life-saving treatments to patients. For 20 years, Friends has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of programs ensuring patients receive the best treatments in the fastest and safest way possible. Friends continues its critical work with trusted partners, creating innovative solutions to overcome barriers standing in the way of conquering cancer.
ABOUT THE THRIVE NETWORK
Established by HESI in February 2016 and now part of the part of the White House’s Cancer Moonshot Task Force, the THRIVE Network is a first of its kind seed grant program and platform for generating novel solutions that is focused on improving quality of life for cancer patients and survivors with input from a broad range of stakeholders and experts. Friends of Cancer Research and the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) joined HESI in the initiative to chart new futures for cancer patients and survivors by making quality of life an active research priority. The program will bridge patients, clinicians, basic researchers, drug developers, technologists, and government scientists in an effort to define and reduce immediate and long-term adverse effects from cancer therapy. The HESI, Friends, and NPAF partnership brings together a collective 65 years of organizational experience in improving the lives of cancer patients and survivors through innovative and effective research, outreach, and educational programs that will benefit the nearly 20 million cancer survivors in the United States today, and countless future survivors. For more information, visit www.hesithrive.org or follow @hesithrive.