National Breast Cancer Coalition

Call to Action Online - August 2013

A New Way to Treat Breast Cancer: NBCC Launches New Collaboration

Once again NBCC is poised to change the world of breast cancer. At the end of July, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) and BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., announced their collaboration on a clinical trial of BioMarin’s PARP inhibitor for the treatment of hereditary breast cancer with BRCA mutations.

NBCC will have input and representation in study design, implementation and execution. In addition, NBCC will support trial enrollment initiatives in the United States and around the world. BioMarin plans to initiate a Phase 3 trial for BMN 673 in deleterious gBRCA mutation metastatic breast cancer in the fall.

"NBCC is committed to ending breast cancer in large part by participating in and contributing to the scientific process," said Fran Visco, President of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. "We have built a network of trained, committed advocates dedicated to collaborating with scientists to advance meaningful research. Our involvement with clinical trials is an important component of that work. We are pleased that our advocates will work side-by-side with BioMarin and clinical investigators on a Phase 3 clinical trial to develop BMN 673 as a potential first best in class PARP inhibitor for patients with hereditary forms of cancer, namely BRCA mutations. This project offers the hope of improving the length and quality of life for patients already diagnosed."

"BioMarin wants to make big differences in the lives of patients. We are honored to include a seat at the table for our colleagues from NBCC. Our efforts are best served by hearing their voice from the beginning and taking action together," said Hank Fuchs, Chief Medical Officer of BioMarin.

Within the next month, NBCC will reach out to advocates worldwide, particularly those in the vicinity of clinical study sites, to join efforts to educate potential study participants about the trial and its eligibility criteria. Anyone interested in participating in trial outreach and accrual should email

Why PARP and BRCA?
All cells need to be able to repair damaged DNA if they are to survive without becoming a tumor. BRCA genes are a system that repairs DNA damage, but when a BRCA gene is damaged, cancer can develop. PARPs also are proteins involved in DNA repair. Tumor cells that lack BRCA function (e.g., have a BRCA mutation), need the PARP function to survive, but normal cells which have BRCA can survive without PARP. So a PARP inhibitor kills BRCA mutant tumor cells while sparing normal cells.

NBCC’s Network of Trained, Committed Advocates
Over the years, NBCC has built a network of trained, committed advocates dedicated to collaborating with scientists to advance meaningful research. These advocates receive training through our renowned intensive science training program, Project LEAD®. NBCC just completed the annual Project LEAD® Institute with nearly 50 new graduates joining this cadre of educated and informed advocates.

This collaboration with BioMarin is part of NBCC’s long-standing Clinical Trials Initiative. NBCC advocate involvement has been key in several trials including the pivotal trial of trastuzumab and the ongoing TAILORx trial. NBCC partnership decisions on clinical trials follow rigorous criteria including significance of the research question, rigor of study design, and ethical conduct of the trial among others.

"We look forward to conducting a world-class study, in collaboration with the finest clinical investigators in the world to evaluate the safety and efficacy of BMN 673 in the metastatic setting," said Visco. "Ultimately, through initiatives such as this one, we will reach our goal of knowing how to end breast cancer by preventing women from getting the disease and preventing it from spreading."

Gearing Up for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

With just a couple months before the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s time to start focusing on how you will direct the conversation from awareness to advancing the knowledge needed to end breast cancer by the end of the decade through Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. YOU can make an impact in your community.

Bring NBCC’s message to the public.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month many organizations look for speakers or program ideas. NBCC has a message that is very important for people to hear—it’s time to focus our attention and resources on knowing how to end breast cancer.

Start now! NBCC has resources available for you so you can be prepared to communicate that message repeatedly through a variety of media—speaking engagements, handouts, videos, discussions, and question and answer sessions.

Visit our website for new information and action ideas. And be sure to get members of your community to commit to Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.

Here are some tools we suggest you share during October:

Blueprint for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®

Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® Progress Reports

Organizational Endorsement

Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® Powerpoint Presentation

Trend This: #BCD2020

It stands for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®—the end of ‪#‎BreastCancer by January 1, 2020.

Are you with us?

Follow #BCD2020

Support NBCC Through Corporate Giving

Ask your employer to join our Cause Marketing program.

For more information, call Antonette Bruno at 202.973.0656.

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