Patient Engagement Programme
Oncode’s mission is to outsmart cancer and impact patients’ lives. We believe that community, joint effort and learning from each other are vital to fulfilling this mission, and connecting patients and researchers follows this belief.
Patients and researchers rarely meet but are inherently linked. Both patients and researchers have their lives deeply determined by cancer, in different ways. Closing the ranks and having researchers and patients come together is therefore a chance to access first-hand knowledge, and by that, to improve research through novel ideas, perspectives and discussions. The goal of the Patient Engagement programme is therefore to bring researchers and patients together, foster this meaningful connection, and have patients’ experiences and needs inspire research, while at the same time have their questions on science answered and their voices heard.
While basic research is naturally bound to the lab, and by that removed from a patient’s life, we believe this can be different and that the knowledge and insight coming out of living and fighting cancer matter, can trigger a researcher’s creativity, spark new ideas and also broaden one’s perspective on life. This is why the Patient Engagement Program provides well-defined support structures enabling researchers and [ex-]patients to connect and interact with Oncode labs and/or individual Oncode researchers. And from our experience, we learned that connecting a researcher to a patient can be meaningful, at times proving to facilitate access to a network of people fighting the disease, which can provide a wide range of experiences and input.
Because we truly believe patients’ insights matter, besides introducing patients to our research labs, we ensure that the patient perspective is adequately represented in our Advisory and Supervisory Boards, to help incorporate the patients’ perspective in our work. This representation means patient representatives help review the proposals that are relevant to patients, like the proposals for the Clinical Proof-of-Concept Fund.
For more on patient involvement, its depth and value for both researchers and patients, you can read this interview with Erica van Wuijtswinkel and Jacco van Rheenen. You can also watch our World Cancer Day 2020 interview with Erica van Wuijtswinkel here.