It was an inspiring day in Boston! More than 80 delegates attended live and dozens more live-streamed the presentations at the 12th annual Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Kidney Cancer Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts.

The free event was included some of the best medical practitioners from around the country and was designed to be an opportunity for education and advocacy. Topics discussed included the latest research and clinical trials, surgical and pharmaceutical treatments, effective management of treatment side effects, nutrition, and additional support or resources for patients. The presenters included leading medical oncologists, clinicians, surgeons, nurses, patients, and caregivers.

KidneyCAN representative and attendee Deb Beyhan noted that the patient panel was powerful: “The stories were very moving. For patients, it’s great to know the feelings we have are normal.” She said patient Caroline Sample, who has attended DC Advocacy Days with Kidney CAN, had particularly helpful insights to offer.

The nurse and dietitian panel was informative, giving the patients and caregivers in the audience opportunities to ask questions.

Dr. Toni Choueiri (Dana-Farber Cancer Center) speaks along with Dr. David McDermott (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center). They co-hosted the morning clinical expert Q & A panel. 

Dr. Andrew Wagoner (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) shares information about laparoscopic surgery to treat kidney cancer as part of a presentation on focused therapies for RCC.

Bryan Lewis, president of KidneyCAN, learns from a number of presentations at the 12th annual Kidney Cancer Symposium in Boston.

Delegates from all over the country participated, and members of the Smart Patients kidney cancer group were there in full force! (Smart Patients has a fantastic group of kidney cancer patients and caregivers who provide outstanding support online — check them out!)

Kidney CAN president Bryan Lewis attended the event and presented in the afternoon. Bryan spoke of his own cancer experience and the need for continued advocacy on behalf of kidney cancer patients, especially on Capitol Hill. He said “more voices are needed” and that advocacy from the kidney cancer community is a key part of the congressional funding gains made in recent years. KidneyCAN will be continuing our advocacy work in this area on Monday and Tuesday, when we’ll go to D.C. to speak to legislators about the need for more research funding. (Learn more about this event here.)

Overall, the event provided an excellent opportunity for those in the kidney cancer community to gather, learn, and advocate. And — the cupcakes were outstanding. If you have the opportunity to attend this annual event next year, you should!

Dr. Kathleen Mahoney (Dana-Farber Cancer Center) discusses the incidence and types of renal cell carcinoma. She also took questions from the audience as part of her presentation.

The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center has hosted an annual Kidney Cancer Symposium to educate patients and caregivers for 12 years. This patient-centered event gives doctors an opportunities to engage directly with the kidney cancer patients and allows patients to learn in a supportive setting. 

KidneyCAN president Bryan Lewis spoke at the Kidney Cancer Symposium. Here, he greets Michael Bailey, CEO of Aveo Pharmaceuticals.

 

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Shari Stonacek is living with Stage IV kidney cancer. She is pictured here (center) with her family from left to right: daughter Joycin, daughter Jasmin, son-in-law Jordan, daughter-in-law Rachel holding grandson Landon, son Justin, Shari, husband Troy, daughter Joslin holding granddaughter...