The CEO Roundtable on Cancer hosted its inaugural Partnership Summit at the global headquarters of SAS in Cary, North Carolina on Feb. 29 and March 1.

The summit, a gathering of cancer experts from industry, nonprofits, academia and government, was focused on innovations in oncology clinical trials.

Scheduled discussion panels focused on forging alliances among industry, academia and nonprofits; improving access to, choice of, and education about clinical trials; using data analytics to shift cancer diagnoses from late- to early-stage; the role of the federal government in reducing the cancer burden, innovating clinical trials through artificial intelligence and machine learning; and assessing the current state of the White House’s Cancer Moonshot program.

The first day of the summit began with a recorded message from Sean Khozin, MD, MPH, the Roundtable’s newly appointed chief executive officer.

“The themes of this summit are a great reminder of the core theme that unites us all: ensuring that every person has the opportunity to lead their healthiest life,” Khozin said. “I know that this is not just an aspiration for us, but a necessity, as it demands that we continue to address social determinants of health head-on.”

The summit’s keynote address, on cancer mortality trends and disparities, was delivered by Otis Brawley, MD, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and member of the Roundtable’s Health and Well-Being Council.

The meeting also included tributes to the late Edith Mitchell, MD, director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, and Robert A. Ingram, founding chairman of the Roundtable.

The first day ended with the presentation of the Roundtable’s Spirit of Health Award. The award, presented since 2021 to individuals and institutions who work to improve the health of those disproportionately affected by cancer, was renamed the Robert A. Ingram Spirit of Health Award this year.

The 2024 award was presented to Gail Stephens, vice president of Health and Life Sciences at SAS, for her commitment to reducing the cancer risk of employees and their families through screenings, early detection, and healthy changes in lifestyle.

MaryLisabeth Rich, president of the Roundtable, said the meeting was successful in forging new partnerships that will be key to improving cancer research and treatment.

“With new technologies transforming how clinical trials are conducted, it is more important than ever that we work together to ensure that we are delivering new treatments to patients as efficiently as possible,” she said. “This exchange of ideas is central to the mission of the Roundtable and has been since its inception more than 20 years ago.”

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