About the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN)

The Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN) is a group of healthcare professionals who share experiences and best practices in all aspects of cancer patient education.

CPEN History

The Cancer Patient Education Network was founded in 1989 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a structure for strengthening cancer education through collaboration with patient educators at NCI-designated Cancer Centers in the U.S. Recognizing the value of CPEN for those working in cancer patient education, and wishing to broaden our reach to a larger audience of patient educators, CPEN established itself as an independent professional organization in July 2005.  

Canada became the first international chapter for CPEN in 2007. As the organization grows, CPEN is collaborating across the globe and welcomes the idea of establishing additional international chapters. 

CPEN provides a vital role in assessing cancer education needs and practices by:  

  • Using the variety of cancer education programs and publications provided by NCI, ACS, LLS, ASCO, and other major cancer organizations  
  • Linking cancer educators across the country 
  • Providing opportunities for networking, mentorship and support
  • Staying up-to-date on the latest research, including partnering with the American Association of Cancer Education for the annual International Cancer Education Conference

Through our work and collaboration, we reach our goals of delivering effective education to patients and their families. Effective education is essential for achieving optimum outcomes for cancer patients, and the use of evidence-based best practices in patient and family education has contributed to the ongoing national and international efforts to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality. 

CPEN is structured with a Board of Directors, which includes the Chair, Past Chair, Chair-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, CPEN Canada Chair, NCI Liaison, and Members-at-Large (4). Custom Management Group provides management services.  

CPEN is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 

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Reduce the burden of cancer through education


To build and foster a supportive community of cancer patient educators

Strategic Plan


Strategic Plan 2019-2021

Policies & Bylaws


CPEN Policies & Bylaws