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Susan G. Komen® Urges Commitment to Conquer Metastatic Breast Cancers

October 14, 2019 GMT

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 14, 2019--

Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today urged the breast cancer community, including policymakers, researchers, clinicians and stakeholders across the health care spectrum, to join Komen in making metastatic breast cancer (MBC) a top priority for public policy, research funding and ongoing education. In recognition of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 13, Komen announced its commitment to create an MBC Fund specifically designed to spur scientific discoveries and support those women and men living with MBC today, building on Komen’s $210 million investment in metastatic breast cancer research. For more information on the MBC Fund and how to support it, visit www.komen.org/MBC.

“More than 42,000 people in the U.S. are expected to die from breast cancer this year alone, most from metastatic breast cancer – that is unacceptable. Komen is committed to reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026,” said Paula Schneider, Komen’s CEO and a breast cancer survivor who also lost her mother to MBC. “Together, we must do whatever it takes to save lives by investing in research that will help us better understand metastatic breast cancer, along with providing support for people living with metastatic breast cancer and for their families.”

What is Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Metastatic breast cancer – also called Stage IV breast cancer – is the most advanced stage of breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is incurable and has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver and/or brain. Of note:

How is Susan G. Komen Combating Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Komen has funded more than $210 million in MBC research since our founding, supporting more than 500 research grants, including more than 50 clinical trials focused on MBC. Komen’s funding of metastatic breast cancer research has grown to represent 70 percent of its annual research investment – up from 50 percent just two years ago. The organization has been prioritizing its research grants program to fund research focused on MBC – a focus that will continue this year.

In June, Komen announced a request for research grant applications focused on applying liquid biopsy technology to MBC. A liquid biopsy is a test done on a sample of blood to detect cancer cells or pieces of DNA from tumor cells that are circulating in the blood. If scientists can unlock the potential of liquid biopsies for metastatic breast cancer, doctors may then be able to use small samples of blood to detect metastatic disease even before symptoms arise, monitor metastatic breast cancer treatment response and adjust therapies, and develop more personalized treatment plans for metastatic breast cancer patients.

“While breast cancer outcomes have improved, we must find better treatments to extend lives and find the cures,” said Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisor, George Sledge, M.D., Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. “Only research cures cancer. We must understand the biology of breast cancer, especially the process of metastasis, if we are to develop drugs to slow, stop and prevent it. Komen invests in research that will help us better understand metastatic breast cancer, including why some forms of breast cancer are more aggressive than others and why some breast cancers are resistant to current treatment options. We urge other funders to join us.”

Helping People Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer Today

To help fuel this commitment, we’re establishing an MBC Fund specifically designed to enable our work to spur scientific discoveries and support those living with MBC today. We can and we must continue to discover ways to improve the quality of life and care of those living with metastatic breast cancer, as well as discover new, more effective treatments that will prolong their lives, so they have more time with the ones they love, until we find the cures to end this disease forever. For more information on the MBC Fund and how to support it, visit www.komen.org/MBC

“We also need to help those living with metastatic breast cancer today live better lives, longer,” said Schneider. “We can and we must support ways to improve quality of life, while we search for more effective treatments that will give MBC patients more time with the ones they love.”

Kelly Shanahan, a former physician and current metastatic breast cancer patient and advocate, added, “Komen has stepped up its commitment to discovering breakthroughs for metastatic breast cancer and supporting those living with the disease today. They are reaching out to the metastatic breast cancer community for input, investing more funds in metastasis research, and educating people about metastatic breast cancer through their MBC Impact Series. By working together, we can get closer to the goal of nobody dying from metastatic breast cancer. I hope that other individuals, organizations and policymakers join us in putting an end to this devastating disease.”

Komen’s work to conquer breast cancer doesn’t end with its leading research investment or patient support programs. Komen mobilizes advocates across the country to support increases in government research funding, as well as federal and state legislation that would remove barriers to care, particularly for those living with MBC. These policies would ensure metastatic patients are able to receive the treatments they require without unneeded red tape or being forced into bankruptcy.

Komen supports those living with MBC through a variety of patient-centered services, including:

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social

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CONTACT: Sean Tuffnell

Susan G. Komen®





SOURCE: Susan G. Komen

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 10/14/2019 07:00 AM/DISC: 10/14/2019 07:00 AM