NANCY LEVITAN POORVU
I’ve lived with MBC since 2002, NED until 2012. My mission is to become an informed patient advocate. An LICSW, PH.D. in private practice since 2002, I studied the impact of life-threatening illness on sense of self. To improve the quality of life for those living with breast cancer, I developed a program at DFCI, Soulmates, a face-to-face peer mentoring program for BC support.
I’ve been part of the MGH/DFCI Breast Cancer Research Advocacy Group since 2014. Currently I am working on a transformational group project investigating heterogeneity in the tumor microbiome. I belong to the DFCI MBC EMBRACE Advisory Board, and I also work on the DFCI SPORE grant team.
I am a member of Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center (MRCT) of Brigham and women’s hospital and Harvard IRR task force, working on ethics related to return of individual results.
I’m a 2016 graduate of NBCC’s project lead. Attending their yearly conferences. In 2021, I participated in the virtual project lead refresher course. I understand and appreciate the urgency of translating knowledge from the lab to the clinical setting, with the ultimate goal of improving quality of lives and ending MBC.
In 2020, I became a member of the Alliance, participating on the Research Task Force. As I am no longer engaged in my own research, it’s my hope to help others with the research it will take to end breast cancer.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
MGH/DFCI Patient Advocate Research Group
Under the leadership of Liz Frank, this group meets monthly to advise researchers about their projects while in formation. We are each assigned a variety of projects to consult as the research advocate. Scientists and researchers frequently invite feedback and guidance from advocates on the direction of their research and its value to patients.Link to program
Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Individual Return Result Taskforce
This is a multi-stakeholder group tasked with considering the ethics of IRR from the point of view of patients, physicians, researchers and industry partners. The deliverables will be an updated template for IRR with new information useful to all stakeholders regarding IRR in an easily adaptable form.Link to program
DFCI Breast Cancer NCI SPORE Grant Review Committee
One of four Patient Research Advocates on the DFCI NCI SPORE Grants Review Committee who read the scientific applications of researchers applying for grants each year. Scoring is done along with each team of clinician and lab researcher, hopefully giving a cohesive view of all.Link to program