The union for International Cancer (UICC) and Pfizer Oncology have announced the names of organisations to participate in the second phase of the seeding Progress and Resources for the cancer community : Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge (SPARC MBC Challenge ). The twenty organisations selected from 19 countries willbenefit from Pfizergrantsamounting to US$500,000 to implement projects addressing the specific needs of women with metastatic breast cancer worldwide.
The SPARC MBC Challenge aims to address critical issues for people at risk of, or living with metastatic breast cancer.An independent, external steering committee, consisting of leading experts in the fields of cancer care and advocacy on behalf of metastatic breast cancer patients and chaired by globally renowned oncologist and leading breast cancer advocate, Dr. Fatima Cardoso, awards grants to organisations globally in support of programmes that address the following challenges in metastatic breast cancer :
· Close the gap on patient communication and navigation of care options ;
· Raise awareness of the specific needs and challenges that face women with metastatic breast cancer ;
· Ensure metastatic breast cancer is embedded in national breast cancer policies; or
· Reduce the incidence of metastatic breast cancer at first diagnosis.
Following the success of the first phase of the SPARC Challenge, this year’s awardees will have the opportunity to benefit from mentorship and best practice sharing from the organisations awarded previously.
The Press Release from Geneva, Switzerland, explained that this second phase of the SPARC MBC Challenge called for applications, which generated significant interest with 83 submissions from organisations in42 countries, an increase over the initial phase. Awardees were selected through a competitive applications process overseen by an external, multidisciplinary selection committee formed by UICC and chaired by Dr. Fatima Cardoso, director of the Breast unit of the Champalimaud cancer centre in Lisbon, Portugal, it further stated that each awardee will receive a grant to initiate projects to close the gap in information, support, awareness and policy between metastatic breast cancer and early disease, as well as help reduce the number of women diagnosed at the metastatic stage of breast cancer.
UICC President, Professor Sanchia Aranda, while appreciating the expansion of this successful initiative, said : « There is an urgent need for greater access to comprehensive breast cancer, particularly in low-and middle-income countries where the majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease. We are glad to support cancer organisations across the globe in initiating and developing projects thatwill have a real impact in their own settings ».
In addition, to the us$500,000 awarded to these 20 organisations, Pfizer Oncology is providing a further us$30,000 to support the continuation of selected ongoing SPARC
projects from the first round of grants issued in 2015. This bringsPfizer’s total funding of the initiative to more than us$1.3 Million.
« We’re pleased to continue our partnership with UICC on this initiative that embodies our committment to the hundreds of thousand of women worldwide who face the challenges of metastatic breast cancer everyday, said Liz Barrett, global President and general manager, Pfizer Oncology.
« We believe collaborations like the SPARC MBC Challenge represent an important step towards improving care for people living with metastatic breast cancer around the world, including those in low-and middle- income countries who may not haveaccess to the care and support they need, « he maintained.
Awardees include advocacy groups, hosiptal networks, support groups and other cancer organisations. Among them is ICANSERVE Foundation in Pasig City, Philippiness, whose project will serve to train patient navigators in cities that don’t have any, as well as strengthen their roles in cities ; and the komfoAnokye Teaching Hosiptal in Kumasi, Ghana, looking at building a community -based structured patient network, navigation and breast health awareness programmes other organisations to receive the grants include :
· Public Organization “Avesto” (NGO), Dushanbe, Tajikistan
· University of Ibadan, Nigeria
· FundaciónCáncer-Fuca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
· Europa Donna Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
· Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Ottawa, Canada
· McGrath Foundation, St. Leonards, Australia
· Caribbean Cancer Research Initiative, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
· Cancer Patients Aid Association, Mumbai, India
· SocietateaRomana de Cancer (Romanian Cancer Society), ClujNapoca, Romania
· Hellenic Association of Women with Breast Cancer “Alma Zois”, Athens, Greece
· Clinique medical Camassistance, Yaounde, Cameroon
· Run for a Cure Africa Breast Cancer Foundation, Ikoyi, Nigeria
· Europa Donna – The European Breast Cancer Coalition, Milan, Italy
· Public Foundation Ergene, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
· The Aga Khan University (Nairobi), Nairobi, Kenya
· Fundação D. Anna de Sommer Champalimaud e Dr. Carlos Montez Champalimaud, Lisbon, Portugal
· Rwanda Biomedical Center, Kigali, Rwanda
· Alianza Mexicana por el Cáncer, AC, Mexico City
These awardees will have the opportunity to benefit from best -practice sharing from the 2015 awardees, including organisations like institutoOncoguia, a non-profit organisation, that used their SPARC MBC Challenge grant to launch network plus life (Rede +Vida), bringing together metastatic breast cancer patients from different regions of Brazil for training on how to provide support and information to other metastatic breast cancer patients, as well as the Butaro Cancer Centre for Excellence
(BCCOE) in Rwanda, which created its first support group for rural women fighting metastatic disease.
UICC is the largest international cancer-fighting organisation, with over 1,000 member organisation across 164 countries representing the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centres and patient groups. The organisation is dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.
UICC and its multisectoral partners are committed to encouraging governments to look towards the implementation and scale -up of quality and sustainable programmes that address the global burden of cancer and other NCDs. UICC is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, a global civil society network that now represents almost 2,000 organisations in 170 counties.
Pfizer Oncology is committed to pursuing innovative treatments that have a meaningful impact on those living with cancer. As a leader in oncology speeding cures and accessible breakthrough medicines to patients, Pfizer Oncology is helping to redefine life with cancer. Our strong pipeline of biologics, small molecules and immunotherapies, one of the most robust in the industry, is studied with precise focus on identifying and translating the best scientific breakthroughs into clinical application for patient across a wide range of cancers. By working collaboratively with academic institutions, individual researchers, cooperative research groups, government and licensing partners, Pfizer Oncology strives to cure or control cancer with its breakthrough medicines. Because Pfizer Oncology knows that success in oncology is not measured solely by the medicines you manufacture, but rather by the meaningful partnerships you make to have a more positive impact on people’s lives.