|Looking Ahead to 2021
Well, you did it. NBCC advocates persisted through a pandemic, a Congress where breast cancer was not a priority, and an election year that took up most of the air around us. You persevered and NBCC not only survived, it thrived.
On a personal note, I am so very proud to know and work with you. Your passion and commitment in the face of such adversity are astounding. And they compel me, and NBCC leadership, to stay on course and keep focused on our mission.
A New Year that has to be better than the old comes, of course, with both new challenges and great opportunities. We will educate a new Congress on our public policy priorities, figure out how best to conduct our intense education and training programs as we transition to a new world, and hopefully develop hybrid models of in-person and virtual meetings and events. Our clinical trials work is expanding, and 2021 will allow us to work globally on trials that meet our criteria for NBCC involvement.
We will be moving into the next phase of our preventive vaccine work and beginning the process of institutionalizing the Artemis Project. And we have already added new scientists as Artemis participants for the coming year.
Thank you for your inspiration and support. We look forward to accomplishing great things in 2021!
Thank you all.
NATALEE – A Clinical Trial for the CDK4/6 Inhibitor Ribociclib [LEE-011]
Since its founding in 1991, NBCC has been unwaveringly focused on its mission to end breast cancer. One of its most potent tools has been to educate advocates in the science, research methodology, and public policy needed to accomplish this mission. Two of NBCC’s accomplishments remain unique in the world of advocacy. The first is the development and implementation of its singular advocate education program, Project LEAD, which has trained over 2500 advocates in its 25-year history. The second is the participation of Project LEAD graduates in clinical trials, as collaborators with investigators.
NBCC and its advocates want to make certain that well-designed clinical trials of interventions that may save lives and change the way women and men are treated, move forward quickly with input from advocates. To support this effort, NBCC partners with institutions and organizations on select trials that meet our specific requirements – the significance of the trial goal, the soundness of the methodology, and the readiness to work with advocates, among other criteria. Other trials with which we have partnered include the pivotal Herceptin trial, the TAILORx trial, and the Paloma and the EMBRACA trials, among others.
NBCC is pleased to continue its partnership with TRIO and their network of sites on the NATALEE trial. NATALEE is a phase 3, multi-center, randomized, open-label trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ribociclib (a CDK 4/6 inhibitor) with endocrine therapy as an adjuvant treatment in patients with HR+/HER2- breast cancer. The intervention under study offers the potential of reducing the risk of recurrence in patients with early, but high-risk breast cancer. Trial accrual continues. To learn more about this trial, visit NBCC’s website. Additional information about trial sites and the trial protocol are available on ClinicalTrials.gov.
Project LEAD Advanced Topic Session Recap
On Monday, December 7, NBCC held our annual Project LEAD Advanced Topic Session in conjunction with the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The topic – Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors – A Critical Analysis of Immune Therapy Trials in Breast Cancer. Where Do We Stand?
The program featured NBCC advocate and board member Michele Atlan, Dr. H. Kim Lyerly of Duke University and Dr. Sara Hurvitz of UCLA who discussed the science behind immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), the current state of research into their use in breast cancer and the advocate perspective on these issues. The session was moderated by SHARE advocate Ivis Febus-Sampayo, who guided a thought-provoking discussion between panelists. More than 115 advocates participated.
This was a very timely topic, given the November 13, 2020, accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) whose tumors express PD-L1, and the recent negative findings of the Impassion 131 trial — the confirmatory trial of atezolizumab and chemotherapy for patients with advanced or metastatic TNBC, which received accelerated approval in early 2019. These results were presented at the 2020 ESMO conference.
After dozens of trials, what do we really know about ICIs in breast cancer? Are they safe? Are they effective?” A review of clinicaltrials.gov shows that there are many trials currently ongoing looking at various ICIs in breast cancer, and yet we still do not know the answers.
The moderated discussion among the program participants identified open issues and the need to address them. For instance, are the trials well-designed? What endpoints are being studied and do they really matter to patients? In PD-L1 negative patients, how many trials do we need before we accept that ICIs probably aren’t effective in these patients, at least in the metastatic setting? And for PD-L1 positive patients, what are the impacts on outcomes that really do matter, like quality of life and survival rather than progression free survival. Is there any reason to believe the next ten trials will add significantly to what we know now? While we do need more research, it needs to be the right research, asking the right questions, studying important outcomes, and designed and conducted with educated advocate involvement.
NBCC thanks our speakers and ABCF for their support in putting together such an exciting program and will continue to push for the right answers.
Hollywood, Broadway, and NBCC: A Virtual Cabaret
Our first-ever Virtual Cabaret Event held on December 6, 2020, was a huge success and tremendous fun–all for a good cause. NBCC wishes to thank hosts Jennifer Coolidge, Merle Dandridge, Laurie Metcalf, Joy Reid, and the more than twenty Hollywood and Broadway celebrities who gave their time and talent, including one-of-a-kind performances.
The event also included advocate videos and messages about NBCC.
This evening was made possible through the generous support of our many sponsors, including Title Sponsors iS CLINICAL by INNOVATIVE SKINCARE and Cindy and Alan Horn.
All proceeds will support the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s mission to end breast cancer.
Tell us your NBCC Advocacy Story
NBCC Advocates are fierce! Through training, education, and networking, NBCC Advocates have influenced policy on both the local and national levels, pushed for access to healthcare for all, and supported research focused on ending breast cancer. We are focused on the day when breast cancer is over and done. Impossible? We don’t think so.
We are part of NBCC for a reason. You may be a survivor or the family member of someone who has breast cancer or has lost their life to breast cancer. Why are you an NBCC advocate? We want to share your advocacy story with others so they, too, can become a catalyst in our fight to end breast cancer. Let them know it is not only possible to change the world, but that each one of us can help make that happen.
Tell Us Your Advocacy Story
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Every second counts in our effort to achieve the goal of ending breast cancer. And every dollar donated equates to more lives saved.
A $1,000 or more gift entitles you to a membership in the President’s Council, an exclusive membership group with special benefits. Members receive regular communications directly from President Fran Visco on current breast cancer issues, recognition in publications, and invitations to special events.
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