GODFREY, Ill., Aug. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Theresa’s Research Foundation is excited to announce a new White Paper titled “Continuing to Improve the Odds Together: Next Steps for Engaging Researchers and Advocates.”
An appreciation for the value of including the patient advocate voice in cancer research has increased in recent years, however, research scientists and patient advocates are often uncertain about how to establish or maintain relationships with one another. This White Paper highlights Findings from the 2022 Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference and is a follow up to our publication in npj Breast Cancer. The White Paper describes how the group at the conference identified solutions to overcome barriers in building bidirectional relationships identified in the npj Breast Cancer manuscript, including short- and long-term goals.
“Patient advocates and cancer researchers working together is critical for better research that leads to improved patient outcomes. Theresa’s Research Foundation has been a leader in creating a space at the MBCRC conference for connections between these groups and encouraging the broader cancer research community to do so as well.” – Hillary Stires, PhD, Director, Regulatory and Research Partnerships at Friends of Cancer Research.
2023 is a significant year for Theresa’s Research Foundation as we celebrate 10 years since our Founder Theresa Newby Harpole started the Foundation. It is also the 10-year anniversary of The Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference.
In 2013, Theresa had been living with Metastatic Breast Cancer for several years and recognized that more needed to be done for people with metastatic breast cancer. This drive epitomized Theresa as she always put others first. With the help of family, friends, and her local community, Theresa’s Research Foundation was established. The Foundation got off the ground quickly by establishing a relationship with prominent researchers at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, where she was treated. With the support from everyone who was involved locally, the first event was a huge success and showed that the Foundation had a bright future. Unfortunately, Theresa became sick later that year and passed away at the age of 46.
This tragedy has a triumph as the Foundation moved forward with Theresa’s vision of “Working Together to Change the Odds.” Theresa was passionate about education so it was fitting that the Foundation started a conference focused on Metastatic Breast Cancer with prominent researchers in 2014. The Foundation also hosted a Gala in 2014 in her honor where the community came out in force to show their support.
“The Foundation and Theresa’s family are forever grateful beyond words for the tremendous support of friends, family, co-workers, and the many businesses in our community who supported the foundation in its early days and stuck with us. I am blown away each year as I walk into the Conference and see my little sister’s face up on the wide screen with the top researchers in the country in attendance learning about the latest in research.” – Linda Morrissey, Board President, Theresa’s Research Foundation.
Since 2014, the Foundation has focused on expanding the conference to bring together a diverse audience, including patients and patient advocates, and create a collaborative research environment with a long-term goal of developing curative approaches for metastatic breast cancer. The conference has been co-hosted at prominent academic institutions including: The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. We are grateful to all the researchers and clinicians who have participated in the conference over the years as well as patient advocates who have contributed so much to this work.
“I’m thrilled to welcome so many outstanding breast cancer researchers from across the world to the 10th annual Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference. This is a unique meeting that brings together breast cancer clinicians, researchers, trainees, and patient advocates in an intimate forum to discuss the most exciting research advances and pressing issues in metastatic breast cancer.” – Alana Welm, PhD, Professor and Senior Director of Basic Science at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.
The Foundation will host a celebration to mark its 10-year milestone at this year’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference in Park City, Utah on August 31. We are also launching a 10-year fund to ensure we can continue to facilitate the conference and help patients with metastatic cancer for years to come.
About Theresa’s Research Foundation
The mission of Theresa’s Research Foundation is to specifically fund research for metastatic breast cancer that provides better treatment options, improves quality of life for patients and will one day lead to a cure. Each year, the organization hosts the Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference in collaboration with Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute. To register for the 2023 event, click here. The conference will also be livestreamed.
To learn more about the work of Theresa’s Research Foundation, visit http://www.theresasresearch.org.