Originally created as the research component of NBCC’s Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® initiative, the Artemis Project® is an advocate led, innovative, mission driven approach of strategic summits, catalytic workshops, research action plans and collaborative efforts of various stakeholders. The Artemis Project focuses on two areas:
Artemis Project participants design and implement research plans and interact through an infrastructure maintained by NBCC that allows collaborations to thrive and progress rapidly. The first Artemis Project, begun in 2011, focused on primary prevention. A five-year, strategic plan for the development of a preventive vaccine was developed and is being implemented through the Artemis Project for a Preventive Breast Cancer Vaccine. A research plan was put in place, initial seed grants were awarded to identify vaccine targets and begin pre-clinical work, and regular meetings occur to assess progress and readjust plans. These efforts have resulted in a preventive vaccine development plan presented to the Food and Drug Administration in 2018, with plans for a Phase I safety trial in 2020. We are also finalizing the Investigational New Drug application (IND) and discussing the Phase 2 clinical trial. In addition, the Artemis Project® participants continue to discuss other primary prevention topics, such as exploring aspects of the microbiome and risk stratification.
NBCC convened the Summit on Prevention of Metastatic Breast Cancer on August 26-28, 2011, in Aspen, CO. This summit represented the first step in focusing efforts on understanding how to prevent breast cancer metastasis. A thorough analysis of the underlying mechanisms of dormant tumor cells was identified as a key priority in the understanding and prevention of breast cancer metastasis. To catalyze efforts on the causes and prevention of metastasis, NBCC held a meeting June 10-11, 2013, in Walland, Tennessee. NBCC brought together 17 scientists and advocates to plan a project around tumor dormancy as a fundamental approach for preventing metastasis. There was consensus among the diverse meeting participants that there is little known about breast cancer tumor dormancy, but that addressing this gap in knowledge should be a priority within the field. Participants agreed that increased knowledge could lead to an understanding of how to prevent metastasis for significant numbers of women. At the most recent meeting the participants discussed how data would be best used to identify targets for preventing lethal disease and risk reduction. In addition to these directed activities, participants in the Artemis Project are continuously reevaluating the state of the sciences to ensure that alternatives, or additional opportunities to prevent breast cancer and end deaths are being considered, and appropriately incorporated into the goals of the Artemis Project.