PanCAN’s Jenny Isaacson (right) with Lori Marcus (center), solutions team leader with Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator DTP workstream and Anne Quinn Young from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is joining the Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator in the urgent mission to engage patients and accelerate precision medicine.  The Accelerator is a multidisciplinary initiative that uses collective impact to advance high-priority opportunities in precision medicine.

“The goals of the Right Track program are four-fold: the right team, the right tests, the right treatment, and sharing your data at every step of the way,” explained Jenny Isaacson, who serves on the direct-to-patient workstream of the Accelerator and as PanCAN’s vice president of strategic partnerships and projects.

“It’s important that we direct patients to the right team so they can access experts and health centers that have extensive experience treating pancreatic cancer,” Isaacson added. “Via the right tests, patients get the information and precise diagnosis to make the right treatment decisions.  By working with their medical team, patients can decide on the best treatment plan, which may include accessing clinical trials. And by sharing their data at every step, patients can accelerate research that will lead to improved outcomes for all patients.”

In addition to PanCAN, four other leading cancer organizations have come together to share best practices, engage patients and create synergies to advance precision medicine opportunities across cancers. The organizations include LUNGevity Foundation, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The Accelerator has begun testing the “Right Track,” a framework to help patients optimize their treatment journey by connecting them with patient-focused organizations. Cancer patients are often overloaded with information and don’t know what steps to take with their treatment. Market research supported by the Accelerator identified consistent gaps in knowledge and actions among patients with five types of cancer. The Accelerator developed the Right Track using this market research and will be testing the program with the goal of closing these knowledge gaps.

The goals of the Right Track program are four-fold: the right team, the right tests, the right treatment, and share your data.

The Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator brings together diverse, best-in-class leaders and healthcare stakeholders to develop a business framework to drive and disseminate solutions to advance precision medicine. The Accelerator focuses on four workstreams — Direct to Patient, Data and Analytics, Clinical Trials, and Venture and Investment – all critical elements of precision medicine.

The Direct to Patient workstream is supported by marketing innovators from leading consumer companies such as Marriott International, Rent the Runway, Keurig Green Mountain, Reebok, Rue La La, and leading tech companies, to help the five cancer organizations create the kind of direct relationships with patients that precision medicine needs to foster.

“The Accelerator uses ‘collective impact’ – a framework based on the idea that tackling complex, systematic issues like cancer can only be achieved when diverse stakeholders work toward a shared goal,” said Lori Marcus, chair of the Accelerator’s Direct to Patient workstream. “By bringing together leading cancer organizations and some of the world’s top consumer companies that have built loyal customer followings, we can help close knowledge gaps and increase patient engagement across cancers.”

The Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator was established in 2016 with a $20 million endowment from the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation Inc. to advance high-priority opportunities in precision medicine. Co-chairs Kathy Giusti, founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Richard Hamermesh, Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, lead a diverse team of healthcare and business visionaries. The Accelerator team works within Harvard Business School to leverage its unique resources and world-renowned faculty as well as its alumni and students.

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