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CRI Launches New Features on Immunotherapy Website for Patients and Caregivers

NEW YORK, November 3, 2014—The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is proud to announce the addition of peer-to-peer advocacy, enhanced sharing functionality, and tumor type-specific information to TheAnswerToCancer.org (TheA2C), a first-of-its-kind website and online community devoted specifically to cancer immunotherapy. 

“Since we launched the site last June, the goal of TheA2C has been to create a helpful and hopeful gathering place to spread the word about the benefits of cancer immunotherapy,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., CEO and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute, an organization that for more than sixty years has worked to advance immune-based cancer treatments. "With these new features and functionality, patients and caregivers have the ability to provide essential support directly to one another.”

TheA2C continues to engage, educate, and empower patients and their loved ones to learn more about cancer immunotherapy as a treatment option across numerous tumor types. The site provides a robust but accessible overview of the science behind cancer immunotherapy, detailed information about cancer immunotherapy clinical trials, and voices from the cancer immunotherapy community.

And now, patients and caregivers can share their own stories and sign up to be a peer-to-peer “ImmunoAdvocate” once they join the TheA2C’s ImmunoCommunity. ImmunoAdvocates can answer questions about cancer immunotherapy treatments, clinical trials, and other important issues. TheA2C’s ImmunoCommunity can be found at www.theanswertocancer.org/online-community-for-cancer-immunotherapy.

“Hearing from other people who have been through a treatment you’re considering for yourself or a loved one means so much when you’re exploring your options,” said Emily Helck, TheA2C’s Community Manager and herself a breast cancer survivor and former cancer immunotherapy patient.

Empowering peer-to-peer interaction is a vital step in CRI’s mission to conquer cancer through immunotherapy. “It’s an exciting time for cancer immunotherapy, but this type of treatment is new and patients don’t immediately understand how it’s different from other cancer treatment approaches,” said Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service and the Lloyd J. Old/Ludwig chair in clinical investigation, Department of Medicine and Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and a member of TheA2C’s Advisory Board. “Having a resource like TheAnswertoCancer.org is valuable to patients as they navigate their treatment options and look for credible sources of information.”

As part of the site’s expansion, information on immunotherapies available for specific cancers will also be provided. In light of Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November and the promising results seen in clinical trials testing immunotherapies in lung cancer, the site’s first cancer-specific section will focus on the various forms of immunotherapy available for lung cancer patients. Sections on melanoma, prostate, breast, kidney, lymphoma, leukemia, pancreatic, and other cancers will follow in the months to come.

“Patients want to connect with other patients who are being treated or have been treated for the same type of cancer they are facing, and TheAnswerToCancer.org now can offer that,” said Mary Elizabeth Williams, a melanoma survivor treated with immunotherapy and a member of TheA2C Advisory Board.

TheAnswerToCancer.org also has robust and growing communities on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheA2C) and Twitter (@TheA2C), providing real-time opportunities to stay engaged with the community as well as the ever-evolving research happening in cancer immunotherapy.

TheAnswerToCancer.org was made possible by a generous, unrestricted grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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