Cancer in the Community

The first Community Cancer Conference on Innovative Research and Precision Oncology Treatments was held at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles on November 9th, 2019. The conference was organized by a collaboration among the Tower Cancer Foundation (Lippin Family), the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, the USC Norris offices of Community Outreach and Engagement and Training and Education and the Florida-California Cancer Research, Education & Engagement (CaRE2) Health Equity Center. A series of community partners supported the effort. These included Celebrate Life, the Men’s Cancer Network, the USC Office of Civic Engagement, and the Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), Clinica Monsenor Oscar Romero, among others. The conference was live-streamed simultaneously to our patients and community advocates in Florida (UF and FAMU) Universities and was the first of this kind to include simultaneous Spanish/English interpretation. Drs. Baezconde-Garbanati and DeClerk opened the conference, acknowledging partners and sponsors, and dedicating the conference to two advisory committee members who passed this year, and setting the stage on precision medicine and value of immuno-therapies. Dr. Caryn Lerman, Director of the USC NCCC made a welcome focusing on precision medicine, followed by panels and presentations from prominent professionals and cancer survivors. These included representation from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), USC Norris Cancer Center who spoke on HPV and Immunology, Immunotherapies, checkpoint inhibitors, CAR T-cell therapies, the future of immunotherapies, and cancer disparities related to precision medicine. Speakers included Drs. Martin Kast, Ann Mohrbacher, Afsaneth Barzi, and Mariana Stern. Dr. Jorge Nieva had a plenary session on the impact of clinical trials on quality of life and Engineering technology and clinical trials. An emotional survivors panel moderated by Dr. James Hu and composed of Pastor Rhonda Holbert, Stephen Heaviside, Stori Nagel, and Amelia Tena spoke about their experiences with cancer. The Tower Cancer Foundation and Lippin Family received a Partnership Award for their exceptional support in patient navigation at LAC+USC Medical Center and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. Over 85 individuals participated. Community health advocates, patients, researchers, health care workers, promotores de salud, and caregivers from even far reaches of our catchment area of Los Angeles County were present. Educational materials were distributed in Spanish and English on related topics and clinical trials. A group of community volunteers and promotores de salud contributed to the success of the conference. For additional information please contact at the USC NCCC COE office, Dr. Carolina Aristizabal at and/or Ghecemy Lopez at