This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pfizer Inc. and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) are proud to announce the recipients from the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community: Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pfizer Inc. and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) are proud to announce the recipients from the
eeding Progress and Resources for theCancer Community: Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge (SPARC MBC Challenge),
a first-of-its-kind initiative to address the unique challenges facing women with metastatic breast cancer worldwide. In total, 20 organizations from 18 countries have been selected to receive grants amounting to $760,000 (USD) in funding provided by Pfizer.
Launched on World Cancer Day in February 2015, the SPARC MBC Challenge received significant interest with over 80 applications submitted by organizations in 46 countries, reflecting the urgent need for improved services and support for women with metastatic breast cancer. Due to this high level of interest, Pfizer increased its funding of the initiative from $500,000 (USD) to $760,000 (USD) to support additional projects.
The SPARC MBC Challenge aims to empower advocacy groups, hospital networks, support groups and other organizations worldwide as they 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.
“Globally, there are wide disparities in the diagnosis, management and care of metastatic breast cancer, a disease that is clinically complex, emotionally burdensome and socially misunderstood,” said Professor Sanchia Aranda, president-elect, UICC. “We are hopeful this program will help us to fulfill our mission of promoting greater equity in access to comprehensive breast cancer services, and we are thrilled with the community’s response to the SPARC MBC Challenge and the number of applications submitted to support projects that can greatly impact the lives of women living with this diagnosis.”
Awardees were selected through a competitive application 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 Center in Lisbon, Portugal.
Each awardee will receive either a campaign grant ($20,000 USD) or a network grant ($60,000 USD). These grants will be used to fund projects in support of women with metastatic breast cancer worldwide, including projects in low-income countries, such as Uganda and Haiti, where women are frequently diagnosed at a more advanced stage of breast cancer than women in developed nations.
“Our partnership with UICC on this initiative represents our commitment to the hundreds of thousands of women worldwide who are living with metastatic breast cancer,” said Liz Barrett, global president and general manager, Pfizer Oncology. “This initiative helps bring us one step closer to the day when metastatic breast cancer patients around the world may have access to the care and support they need, regardless of their location or socio-economic status.”
“One particularly valuable component of the SPARC MBC Challenge is that it will also provide mentorship support to the awardees and enable networking and sharing of best practices among the organizations,” said Professor Aranda. “We look forward to following the progress and results of all awarded projects that were selected to address the challenges facing the MBC community globally.”
Among the awardees is Associação Mama Help, an organization based in Portugal that will be creating an online resource center in the Portuguese language to provide information and support to women living with metastatic breast cancer. Additionally, Uganda Women's Cancer Support Organisation (UWOCAO), will implement a project in partnership with the Uganda Cancer Institute to identify the challenges faced by women with advanced breast cancer in Uganda and help increase awareness of their unique needs among advocates, caregivers and policymakers. Based on this understanding, the organization will seek to develop new tools, services and policies to address their needs and to ultimately help increase access to supportive care and improve quality of life for women with metastatic breast cancer.
Additional organizations to receive grants include:
For more information on the SPARC MBC Challenge and the awardees, please visit: uicc.org/sparc-awards(link is external).