Patient Advocacy Group
Our patient advocacy group is to support translational research that create important clinical trials and to help make those trials available to the brain cancer community. The advocacy group achieves its goals through the following efforts:
1. Advocates as "ambassadors"
The advocates serve as a vital link ("ambassadors") between the SPORE and the larger brain cancer community. The advocates have strong relationships with the brain cancer community and are perceived as lay experts due to their involvement with the SPORE. They are therefore able to raise awareness in the community about SPORE goals and activities, particularly as they relate to clinical trials.
2. Advocates and Patient Recruitment to Clinical Trials
The guiding principal is that advocates will only recommend a trial if it is one in which they, themselves, would participate in if qualified. This personal investment is critical to their success in educating and encouraging patients to consider participation in trials.
3. Advocate Input to the SPORE
The advocates are invited to attend SPORE meetings. The SPORE leadership recognizes the importance of the patient perspective in the conduct of the SPORE, particularly as it relates to clinical trials. Likewise, the advocates feel strongly that the patient perspective is heard.
Get to know our patient advocates.
Paul Joseph Lukac, MD
Paul Lukac is a physician who previously worked as a pediatric hospitalist at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He is currently pursuing an MBA. Paul is from St. Charles, IL and was diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM) ten years ago as a medical student. He has supported the Northwestern University SPORE Group since 2017. He is also an advocate for Northwestern’s Brain Tumor Institute and the American Brain Tumor Association, a Chicago-based charity. He is passionate about support and education for newly diagnosed GBM patients.
Margaret (Meg) Keating is an eleven plus year survivor of a Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor, and has been active in Northwestern Hospital's Brain Tumor support group since 2008. Meg also serves on Board 39, the AYAO survivor board and the Patient & Family Advisory Board at Northwestern, actively seeking ways to improve outcomes and patient experiences for young adults diagnosed with cancer, specifically patients in the brain tumor community. Meg is excited to be a part of the SPORE, and is looking forward to collaborating with and informing others about the exciting work being undertaken in SPORE brain tumor projects.