National Breast Cancer Coalition

Research Analysis and Collaboration

Since 1991, to achieve its mission to end breast cancer, NBCC has focused on gaining access to quality, evidence-based care for all, increasing the influence of women living with breast cancer and other breast cancer activists in the decision making that impacts all issues surrounding breast cancer, and on research.


The focus on research has involved working consistently year after year to ensure adequate Federal appropriations for high-quality, peer-reviewed research.  But in addition, NBCC has been committed to making sure those hard-won research funds are well-spent, and that relevant research in the private sector addresses the needs of breast cancer patients.  NBCC accomplishes this through working for advocate representation on all relevant review committees and panels, and through collaborations with the scientific community.  With these collaborations, NBCC works to develop new research models, conduct research, design protocols and set research priorities. 

NBCC works to increase the effectiveness of breast cancer research in several ways:

  • Clinical Trials Initiative: NBCC works with scientists and industry leaders to design, conduct and oversee specific clinical trials in order to increase the quality, number, and participation in clinical trials.
  • Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program: NBCC spearheaded the funding of the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, which involves breast cancer advocates in every stage of the decision-making process and promotes innovative models of research.
  • Love/Avon Army of Women: NBCC partners with the Love/Avon Army of Women to unite cancer researchers with women willing to participate in research studies on the causes and prevention of breast cancer.

Research Analysis

As a grassroots organization, NBCC recognizes the importance of an empowered public and providing the public with evidence-based and patient-centered information on important breast cancer issues and research has also been a key focus for NBCC since its founding.  NBCC staff assess breast cancer research in the scientific and medical literature, and significant research findings reported in the popular media in order to provide a more in-depth patient-centered perspective on current research for the public.

NBCC's website provides easy access for the public to up-to-date information on breast cancer issues and news of the day, with the more in-depth, patient-centered perspective.  Content includes a comprehensive look at major controversies in the field of breast cancer, including mammography screening, HER2 testing, and the diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).  Summaries of current research are provided, along with comments and interpretations from breast cancer advocates.

NBCC's website is also the place to find analyses and fact sheets on recent developments in research and public policy that provide an informed, educated, and unbiased advocate perspective to emerging breast cancer issues; position papers whose topics are chosen by the NBCC Board of Directors for their controversial nature and significance; and Breaking News which are immediate responses to breast cancer reports in the media.

Research analyses consist of an outline of the study methodology, a critical evaluation of the conclusions in terms of their significance for women and for breast cancer research as a whole, and a decription of the limitations of the study.

Position papers are developed on key breast cancer topics that are either controversial, surrounded by popular myth, or that the NBCC Board of Directors determines for other reasons would serve the public interest. These position papers outline the key issues for each topic and include an analysis of the best available research evidence on the various sides of the issue. NBCC develops its positions through a lengthy research process that includes an evaluation of the quality and strength of evidence for each issue. All position papers are regularly reviewed and updated as new evidence is established, and all have been voted on and approved by the NBCC Board of Directors.