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Tackling Metastatic Breast Cancer

By BCRF | December 8, 2016

BCRF announces new research projects to develop treatments

One major challenge faced by academic researchers in advancing urgently needed treatment options has been the lack of access to new drugs in development. BCRF sought to bridge that gap by launching the Drug Research Collaborative in partnership with the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC). The program—funded with an initial $15 million commitment from Pfizer—will also provide researchers with newly available access to Pfizer’s broad portfolio of approved products and its pipeline of oncology drugs still under development.

While at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, BCRF announced nine new projects funded by this groundbreaking new collaboration: six laboratory studies and three clinical trials that will collectively benefit nearly 400 patients with metastatic disease.

The laboratory studies will advance our understanding of mechanisms of action of drugs, drug combinations and how to overcome resistance to current therapies; the clinical trials, conducted and managed by the TBCRC, will test the latest drugs under development for immunotherapy, cell cycle inhibition and kinase inhibition.

Nearly one-third of BCRF‘s grant portfolio is already focused on metastatic breast cancer research. Currently, studies are looking to understand the biology of why and how cancer cells spread, the development of new treatments for advanced disease, and correlative studies to discover biomarkers that can predict which breast cancers are more likely to spread.

But the necessity for new treatments are keenly felt by the 150,000 women and men diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, with 40,000 people dying from the disease each year.

The Collaborative is an unprecedented new funding model: bringing together industry leaders on the cutting edge of new treatments with researchers that bring the rigor and independence afforded by academic institutions to study these therapies.

“These clinical and laboratory studies demonstrate that both innovation and efficiency are well served when you bring together the brightest academic scientists, an enlightened industry leader and the nonprofit sector,” said Larry Norton, MD, BCRF Scientific Director and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“This partnership demonstrates a new way to give more patients access to creative clinical trials and thereby greatly accelerate progress toward major, life-affirming discoveries.” – Dr. Larry Norton.

These are the first projects announced as part of BCRF’s Drug Research Collaborative.  As other pharmaceutical companies join the Collaborative and expand this program, BCRF continues the pursuit of accelerating clinical research on treatment strategies for people with breast cancer.