Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Research Lacking for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Study shows more investigation needs to be done

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The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, which represents 29 cancer organizations, has found that research for metastatic breast cancer is underfunded. Metastatic breast cancer starts in the breast but then spreads to other parts of the body such as the lungs or liver. Each year, more than 40,000 people succumb to the disease. The MBC Alliance has found that over the last 12 years only 7.1% of breast cancer research has had a targeted focus on metastatic breast cancer.

In honor of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, which took place on October 13, the MBC Alliance released a study entitled Changing the Landscape for People Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Research for the study took place over the course of one year, and analyzed the needs of cancer patients as well as the quality of information and services they receive.

Changing the Landscape is the most comprehensive analysis on MBC research, information and services of its kind and the results highlight that we need to do better for those living with MBC,” said Marc Hurlbert, PhD, Executive Director, Avon Foundation for Women, and leader of the MBC Alliance, in a statement. “We’re hopeful this report provides a road map for how members of our MBC Alliance and other organizations can band together to better serve people living with MBC and identify ways to accelerate research to develop new treatments.”

Some of the research findings:

  • 169 clinical trials testing targeted therapies for MBC were identified. The MBC Alliance says there are more opportunities to reduce barriers to patient participation in trials and to update the design of trials to address areas of importance for MBC.
  • The report found there needs to be an increased effort to meet the needs of patients and families. The alliance says research on the needs of minority or poor populations living with MBC is lacking.

For more on metastatic breast cancer, see our Q and A with Carolina Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams.