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  • Writer's pictureKiran Dhillon

The CVI Circle event was a joyous reunion & opportunity for us to learn from our patients

Photo Credits: Jennifer Childs and Kiran Dhillon

The Cancer Vaccine Institute held our first ever patient reunion during the CVI Circle - Empowering Patients, Advancing Science event last week in Seattle and virtually. Festivities kicked off with an informal dinner for CVI patients and family members, along with key CVI faculty and staff, on the evening of Thursday, June 15th. Patients were very excited to meet others who had gone through the same or similar clinical trials for vaccines and other immune therapies. Most patients who participated in the in-person activities were from Washington though several made the trek to Seattle from other parts of the country to be a part of the event.

Friday, June 16th featured an all-day conference that included CVI and other patients, scientists, and community members. Michelle Whitney, CVI patient and Patient Advisory Council member, kicked off the conference by sharing why being part clinical trials was so important to her and Dr. Nora Disis, CVI Founder and Director, shared how grateful the organization is for our patients who are critical for advancing vaccine and immunotherapy research.

CVI faculty shared results from completed and ongoing clinical trials for breast and ovarian cancer and discussed projects that are in the pipeline for clinical development. The research update was followed by three panels that provided an opportunity for patients and researchers to discuss (1) the clinical trial experience from the patient's perspective, (2) increasing access to clinical trials for diverse populations, and (3) engaging patients in research and advocacy. We will be sharing learnings from each of these panels in subsequent posts over the course of the summer.

Plenty of time was built in to allow participants to connect with one another. Members of the CVI team took patients on tour of our laboratory. Patients and researchers also had the opportunity to record testimonials on what Cancer Vaccine Institute research and connecting with one another means to them. We'll share these recordings with the community in the future.

We are grateful to our Patient Advisory Panel who played such an instrumental role in helping create this inspirational event and for our research colleagues who served on panels alongside patients! Most importantly, we are so grateful to our patients who participate in clinical trials for the benefit others!


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