BreastCancerTrials.org (BCT) has teamed up with five breast cancer advocacy organizations to make finding out about clinical trial options for metastatic breast cancer easier, faster, and more precise than ever before. Metastatic Trial Search, a new web-based personalized trial matching tool, was developed by and is now available at BreastCancerTrials.org and the following non-profit advocacy partners:
- Metastatic Breast Cancer Network
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer
- Young Survival Coalition
- Triple Step Toward the Cure
Supported by a $100,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women and Pfizer Oncology, Metastatic Trial Search was developed specifically for metastatic breast cancer patients by BCT in collaboration with the organizations above. The service uses patient-friendly language that is designed to make details about clinical trials more understandable and accessible for cancer patients, their families and physicians. The goal is to encourage patients to consider clinical trials as a routine option for care when making treatment decisions.
Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer and occurs when cancer spreads beyond the breast to other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, liver and brain. Nearly three in 10 women who have had early-stage breast cancer will eventually develop metastatic disease. There are no cures currently available, and continuous treatment is needed to manage the spread of the disease and its symptoms.
"For women with metastatic disease, clinical trials provide access to the most advanced medical knowledge," says Dr. Elly Cohen, Executive Director of BreastCancerTrials.org. "Metastatic Trial Search was created as a collaborative effort to quickly connect women and their physicians with trial information personalized for their individual diagnosis. Medical science is advancing rapidly, and our goal is to help make potentially life-saving research available for the women who need it the most--by bringing details to them as soon as it is available."
"We're confident this personalized trial matching resource will be a valuable asset for women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer who are seeking information about clinical trials," says Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, Living Beyond Breast Cancer's chief executive officer. "This tool will allow women to take an active role in their ongoing treatment and management of metastatic disease."
Considered by many to be the most patient-friendly service for breast cancer clinical trial information, BreastCancerTrials.org receives trial data from the U.S. National Institute of Health's website, ClinicalTrials.gov. As a non-profit organization, BCT does not "recruit" patients to trials, but is dedicated to providing access to studies by developing patient-centered trial matching tools and easy-to-understand information. In 2015, BCT is projected to receive more than 100,000 visits, with an estimated 30 percent of those being patients with metastatic disease. The organization was inspired by two women battling breast cancer themselves, and developed by breast cancer providers, patients, and computer engineers at the University of California, San Francisco. Its mission is to raise awareness about the importance of clinical trials and simplify the process of learning about, evaluating and considering clinical trial options when making medical decisions.
Over the last decade, knowledge gained from cancer clinical trials has helped medical science move forward dramatically. Today for example, physicians are able to diagnose, slow or stop cancers as they develop, and identify cancers that are likely to come back after treatment, all as a result of clinical studies. Despite this progress, only three percent of all cancer patients in the U.S. agree to join a trial.
"There is no doubt that every advance in breast cancer prevention and treatment has been the result of clinical trials," adds Dr. Cohen. "Carefully conducted trials give researchers and breast cancer patients the opportunity to work to together to advance all aspects of breast cancer care. We are making great progress, but there is still much confusion and misunderstanding. Our aim is to provide patient-centered information that will help make consideration of clinical trials--for patients and their physicians--the norm, rather than the exception. We are extremely proud that such dedicated advocacy organizations are joining us in this mission."
About BreastCancerTrials.org (BCT)
BreastCancerTrials.org is a non-profit service that encourages individuals affected by breast cancer to consider clinical trials as a routine option for care. To make this possible, the web-based portal helps individuals who are interested in breast cancer research find studies that are right for them; lists U.S.-based trials on ClinicalTrials.gov that are currently looking for volunteers; provides accurate information about why clinical trials are important and how they are structured; and helps care providers and patient navigators find trials for patients. BCT was developed at the University of California, San Francisco and operates as a service of QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative, a non-profit foundation, established in 2005, as a collaboration between medical researchers at University of California at San Francisco, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. QuantumLeap's mission is to accelerate the transfer of high-impact research in clinical processes and systems technology into widespread adoption so that patients and physicians can benefit from the research as soon as practicable.