Despite decades of cancer research, cancer metastasis (the spread of cancer from the primary site throughout the body) still causes approximately 90% of all cancer-related deaths worldwide and in the U.S. specifically (American Cancer Society and World Health Organization). There is no cure for metastatic cancer of any type.

Translational metastasis researchers and clinicians of the Metastasis Research Society have partnered with patient advocates of METAvivor Research and Support Inc. and clinicians from the Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation to create a one-of-a-kind conference and webinar series meant to engage researchers, clinicians, and patients together in metastasis research to improve stage IV metastatic cancer patient outcomes and quality of life.  Year 1 of the project focuses on metastatic breast cancer specifically (2017-2018) and year 2 will be expanded to be inclusive of all metastatic cancer types (2018-2019).  More information on year 2 can be found here.


Project/Conference Goals

1. Engage and educate stakeholders (patients, clinicians, researchers) in translational metastasis research and clinical comparative effectiveness research (CER).  CER compares the benefits and harms of different treatment options or interventions that are already available to improve patient outcomes and quality of life relatively quickly.

2. Set research priorities for translational metastatic breast cancer research (a path forward for new treatments)

3. Set priorities for metastatic breast cancer clinical comparative effectiveness research (CER - a path forward for existing therapies)

4. Develop a sustainable model for patient engagement in metastasis researchis to engage key stakeholders in cancer metastasis to strengthen and advance patient-centered metastasis research from basic translational research through clinical comparative effectiveness research (CER).  CER compares the use of existing therapies to improve patient outcomes relatively quickly. 

The MBC Engagement Conference Activity on June 22-23, 2018 is jointly provided by USF Health, the Metastasis Research Society, and METAvivor Research and Support Inc. 

For full continuing education accreditation information, agenda, objectives, and speakers visit MBC Conference Info.  


Significance for Achieving Cancer Moonshot Goals of the NCI

In October of 2016, the White House released a briefing on Federal and private sector initiatives meant to fast-track breakthroughs in cancer treatment. The official Cancer Moonshot Task Force, led by US Vice President, Joe Biden, approved the initiatives.  The joint effort to fund grants specifically focused on metastatic cancer research between researchers and clinicians of the MRS and patient advocates of METAvivor Research and Support Inc. was officially accepted as a private sector commitment to advance Cancer Moonshot goals.

Significantly, this joint effort is the only approved effort within the Moonshot plans that focuses specifically on cancer metastasis.  METAvivor in collaboration with the MRS has committed to funding more than $1 million in metastasis research grants in 2017 and more in 2018. This joint project will help to ensure these funds go toward supporting the most impactful patient-centered metastatic cancer research by identifying national translational and clinical research priorities for metastatic breast cancer, identified and agreed upon by researchers, clinicians, and patients.


Project Collaborators/Organizers

Project collaborators include: translational metastasis researchers and clinicians of the Metastasis Research Society (MRS, project lead), patients/patient advocates of METAvivor Research and Support Inc. (project subcontractor), and clinicians of the Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation (SNOF, project partner - Cancer Metastasis logo).

Steering Committee Members: Kate Bankaitis, PhD (MRS Director of Programs and Engagement), Irwin Gelman, PhD (MRS Director of Outreach), Conor Lynch, PhD (MRS Treasurer), Sonya Negley (METAvivor CEO), CJ (Dian) Corneliussen-James (METAvivor Co-Founder and President-emeritus), Patrick and Lisa Quinn (METAvivor Board of Directors), Kelly Parker (METAvivor Patient Advocate), Terlisa Sheppard (METAvivor Patient Advocate), Jonathan Zager, MD (SNOF Board of Directors), and Stan Leong, MD (SNOF President).




This conference was funded in part through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (6102-MRS).  Conference venue space was kindly provided in partnership with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL.