National Breast Cancer Coalition

Call to Action Online December 2016

NBCC Government Relations Activities

As we close in on the end of the 114th Congress, NBCC is working to shore up support to continue funding of the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.  We have come too far, fought too hard, and have made too much progress to allow changes that would be detrimental to our mission to know how to end breast cancer.

We are also working hard to prevent passage of H.R. 1151, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015. Why? This legislation would propose changes to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a respected and objective voice that brings scientific expertise to health care without political or financial conflicts of interest. The USPSTF is responsible for analyzing and reporting on public health matters, with primary concerns directed toward reducing deaths from preventable disease in healthy populations. H.R. 1151 aims to include, or replace these experts with, specific disease specialists and manufacturers which could unduly bias this important public health process.

NBCC believes the current Task Force is a trusted resource that is not influenced by outside industry groups, and should remain so.  The primary care physicians, epidemiologists and methodologists who currently sit on the task have the appropriate expertise to fulfill this mission, and possess the specialized training in analysis and interpretation of clinical trials results to assess the benefits and harms of these services.  To that end, NBCC sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health urging Congress to support our efforts to teach the public how to make well informed decisions based on sound scientific evidence by supporting the crucial work of the dedicated, objective and skilled members of the current Task Force. 

Many changes are expected to our healthcare system thanks to the nomination of Rep. Tom Price to HHS, and a Trump campaign mandate to repeal and replace the ACA.  Millions of Americans who are currently on the ACA plan are at risk of facing decreased or, complete elimination of coverage.  We will be following developments closely and acting swiftly on proposed changes that could negatively affect anyone who currently enrolled in the ACA or Medicare/Medicaid, in particular, those who have breast cancer.

We know that as we work toward our goal of knowing how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020 and encounter roadblocks in Congress or the incoming Administration, we can count on our incredible advocates to lend us their voices and fuel our efforts with their passion. 


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What does the Trump Administration Mean for Breast Cancer?

What does the pending Trump era mean for women and men with and at risk of breast cancer?  Like so many others, we’re faced with much uncertainty.   We don’t know if those diagnosed will have access to the care they need.  We don’t know if drugs will be more or less affordable, or if science will continue to be respected and advanced.

What we do know is that breast cancer is nonpartisan.  While policy makers debate whether the Affordable Care Act should be eliminated or if discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions should be allowed, or significant cuts to Medicaid implemented, any woman with limited income or a history of breast cancer will be fighting an uphill battle to get the care she needs. No matter their political party, religion, race or economic status, all women deserve a President who is committed to ending breast cancer. 

We need President-elect Trump to:

1)    Ensure that every woman and man in the U.S. with, and at risk of, breast cancer has affordable access to quality health care - regardless of their ability to pay. We need policies and laws to assure that no one can withhold coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions.

2)    Support NBCC’s Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® – a plan of action to know how to end breast cancer. 

3)    Provide significant federal funding for focused, strategic research for rapid progress and policies that support unbiased science.

4)    Assure that educated and trained advocates who represent this constituency are at the table whenever decisions are made concerning public policy and in setting research agendas. The incoming Administration needs to understand and embrace this approach.

We need the country's President to step up and guarantee real access to quality health care for all. Women's lives depend on it. 

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An Update : Interim Results on CDK4 and CDK6 Inhibitor Trials

The overall reaction to San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2016 was one of disappointment. There were no breakthroughs reported, yet there continues to be excitement about cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors. NBCC was a collaborator on trials that led to approval of IBRANCE (palbociclib) in the ER-positive advanced breast cancer setting, but we do not yet know the impact of these drugs on overall survival.  Approval was based on progression free survival, which has no clinical benefit. The field is now moving toward CDK inhibition in early stage breast cancer supported in part by neoMONARCH phase II clinical trial results reported by Sara Hurvitz, M.D., that showed reduced levels of Ki67 in breast cancer cells indicating reduced cell proliferation, a biological but not a clinical effect. Estrogen-receptor breast cancer is the most common phenotype of breast cancer, and may progressively become resistant to endocrine therapy leading to recurrence and advanced disease. The cyclin-dependent kinases have a key role in regulating cell-cycle progression. The inhibition of CDK4 and CDK6 has the potential to prolong or restore sensitivity to endocrine therapy in ER+, HER2- advanced breast cancer.  The MONALEESA-2 and PALOMA-2 phase 3 clinical trial interim data was recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine [1, 2]. In both studies, over 600 postmenopausal women with ER+, HER2- breast cancer who had not received previous systemic therapy for advanced disease were randomly assigned to CDK4/6 inhibitors combined with letrozole or placebo plus letrozole. The studies confirmed that progression-free survival was significantly longer than with letrozole alone. This class of drugs comes with a side effect profile including higher rates of myelosuppression. A question that remains is will progression-free survival correlate with overall survival in the MONALEESA-2 and PALOMA-2 clinical trials.  Both studies remain blinded and overall survival will be reported when the results are mature.

References:

  1. Hortobagyi GN, Stemmer SM, Burris HA, et al. Ribociclib as first-line therapy for HR-positive, advanced breast cancer. N Engl J Med 2016:375:1738-48.

  2. Finn RS, Martin M, Rugo HS, et al. Palbociclib and letrozole in advanced breast cancer. N Engl J Med 2016:375:1925-36.

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We have THREE YEARS to achieve BREAST CANCER DEADLINE 2020®

Register now for NBCC’s ADVOCATE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT & LOBBY DAY Washington, DC May 20-May 23, 2017

 

The National Breast Cancer Coalition has the best trained, most effective and passionate advocates in the field of breast cancer research and advocacy, and our Advocate Leadership Summit is one of the reasons why.  You will meet leaders and visionaries who are working at every level to achieve Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. Advocates will participate in the full range of sessions, plenaries, keynotes, strategy workshops, public policy training and Lobby Day. This extraordinary meeting offers you ways to: 

  • Network with the most highly-committed and motivated group of leaders ever assembled in the world of breast cancer;
  • Interact with scientists, thought leaders, innovators and visionaries in small, intimate groups;
  • Get dynamic, world-class, advanced leadership training;
  • Hear about research on prevention and breast cancer metastasis as well as on cutting-edge topics in the areas of systems change and health care delivery; 
  • Understand the Administration and Congress in preparation for Lobby Day; 
  • Learn best practices from other leaders who are implementing their state and individual action plans.

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017 we will once again host a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. There’s no charge for participating in Lobby Day, even if you aren’t able to attend the Summit.  To register, please click here.

NBCC 21st New York Gala
We would like to thank everyone involved with NBCC’s 21st New York Gala, including co-chairs Fabian Garcia, President and CEO of Revlon; Mark J. Alles, CEO of Celgene; and Stephanie Disegni, President and CEO of Longchamp USA, and our dinner committee chairs: Dorian Goldman and Marvin Israelow, Liane and Luca Lindner, Violaine and John Bernbach.  Sharon Nelles accepted the 2016 Leadership Award on behalf of Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA).  As always, the highlight of the Gala was hearing from our Grassroots Advocacy Award honorees.  Former two-term member of NBCC’s Board of Directors Shirley Brown and Rhode Island Breast Cancer Coalition founder Marlene McCarthy were this year’s recipients, who were presented with their awards by our gracious special guest Phylicia Rashad.  An incredible performance by Ruby Lewis, currently starring in Cirque du Soleil’s Broadway show, Paramour, capped off the event.

 

Give a World Without Breast Cancer
When we set a deadline to know how to end breast cancer, we knew it would be difficult to achieve and controversial to try. But we are well on our way, and that is in large part because of you. Whether you donate, share our social media posts or take time out of your day to tell your friends and neighbors about the Deadline, you are a critical part of our team. With your help, we can achieve this ambitious goal to end breast cancer. Thank you for considering an end-of-year gift in support of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. Donate online.

We are pleased to share that every gift made to NBCC from now to December 31st will be matched up to $100,000, due to the generosity of the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation. Thank you in advance for your support this holiday season.