Today’s guest blog comes from Fatima Cardoso, Chair ABC Global Alliance, on behalf of all members
Research for the treatment of early stage breast cancer has been given a lot of attention, however the same attention is still not being given to advanced and metastatic stages of the disease. With the advances in science, technology and communication tools, it is imperative that the cancer community around the world joins forces to raise awareness of advanced disease and lobby for better outcomes for people living with advanced breast cancer (ABC).
Against this backdrop, the ABC Global Alliance, established by the European School of Oncology (ESO), was set up as multi-stakeholder platform for all those interested in collaborating on common projects relating to ABC around the world. We are made up of people and organisations who are committed to develop, promote and support tangible improvements that will ultimately create awareness and actions that will improve and extend the lives of patients living with ABC worldwide.
The vision of the ABC Global Alliance is to improve and extend the lives of women and men living with ABC in all countries worldwide - to fight for a cure, and to raise awareness of ABC and lobby worldwide for the improvement of the lives of ABC patients. Just last month we held a brainstorming meeting in Vienna following the 15th St Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference to further explore the core purpose and values of the ABC Global Alliance and to agree its focus for 2017. The meeting was attended by representatives from breast cancer patient advocacy organisations worldwide who were all very supportive and enthusiastic about the potential for the ABC Global Alliance to help ABC patients moving forward.
One of the first projects of the ABC Global Alliance is to drive the ABC Global Alliance Charter. Several initiatives have exposed the important challenges and gaps that exist in advanced breast cancer, namely the Global Status of Advanced / Metastatic Breast Cancer (mBC) 2005-2015 Decade Report and the Here and Now Campaign. A preliminary call-to-action was developed for the ABC community comprising of 10 distinct goals. The initiative details key gaps and actionable imperatives across patient care, societal support and scientific investment for ABC including among others increased availability and access to multidisciplinary care, increase public understanding of ABC, as well as to improve the availability of good quality epidemiology and outcomes data for ABC. The ABC Global Alliance will now drive this project forward to ensure it becomes a multi-stakeholder initiative implemented worldwide to help improve the lives of people with ABC, under the name ABC Global Alliance Charter.
The ABC Global Alliance further aims to guide the policymakers on steps that can be taken to match best practices in the mBC space. We are looking forward to our next meeting of the ABC Global Alliance’s which will be held after the ABC4 in Lisbon (November 4-5). This event will be in two parts - an open meeting for all those interested in the work of the ABC Global Alliance, as well as a closed meeting for ABC Global Alliance members.