A cocktail mixer for patients and oncologists? Yep.

Hi friends! I volunteer as a media relations specialist for COLONTOWN, my go-to online community for science and support related to colorectal cancer. This is the press release I sent out today. If you know any journalists who write about health and cancer care, please pass it along. Thank you!


COLONTOWN patients to challenge traditions at ASCO conference

What happens when patients throw a party for oncologists? Find out next week.

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2020 — Even in the age of “patient-centric” medicine, actual cancer patients are still few and far between at major oncology conferences, such as ASCO’s Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, to be held here next week.

The patients from Colontown intend to change that. 

More than a dozen patient leaders from the global colorectal cancer group will converge on the Moscone Center from Jan. 23-25. They will network with leading oncologists; push for stronger patient representation in research; and report back to their 5,000 active members.

The patients aren’t coming to San Francisco to crash the oncological party. Instead, they’ve decided to throw one themselves.

Colontown is inviting oncologists and researchers to “Cocktails on the Roof,” to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Virgin Hotel. The party is meant to spark understanding and collaboration between leading providers and patients. It’s also a chance for patients to thank oncologists for their important work. The invite-only event was made possible by a corporate donation to Paltown, the non-profit organization that supports Colontown. 

“As far as we know, this will be the first party thrown by patients for doctors at an ASCO conference,” said Erika Hanson Brown, who founded Colontown in 2010. “In the old model of cancer care, there was a clear line between  ‘us’ the patients, and ‘them,’ the doctors. In the new model, we are collaborators, working together toward the goal of better outcomes.” 

Colontown improves the quality of life for people with colorectal cancer, through shared patient-to-patient knowledge, experience, and support, Brown said. 

Oncologists who support the mission of Colontown include Dr. Cathy Eng of Vanderbilt University, Dr. Axel Grothey of West Cancer Center and Research Institute, Dr. Christopher Heery of Precision BioSciences, and Dr. Pashtoon Kasi of the University of Iowa.

“Colontown empowers colorectal cancer patients on their journey through the complex world of treatment choices and shared decision making with their oncologic providers,” Grothey said.


‘About Us’ and photos attached To arrange interviews with Erika Hanson Brown, Colontown patient leaders, and participants in the ASCO GI conference; or if you are a reporter interested in covering the event:

Media Contact: Trevor Maxwell



COLONTOWN — www.colontown.org

Published by Trevor Maxwell

Trevor Maxwell writes about life as stage IV colon cancer patient, and about overcoming challenges. A former newspaper journalist, Trevor is passionate about the power of words. Follow at www.trevormaxwell.com

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