LISBON, Portugal, 30 October 2017 - The Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC) Global Alliance has launched the ABC Global Charter, a bold new initiative that sets out 10 clear goals to drive global improvements in ABC care and survival by 2025. The ABC Global Charter has been developed to address the most urgent and actionable gaps in the treatment and care of patients with ABC to ultimately improve and extend their lives. The ABC Global Alliance, a European School of Oncology backed, multi-stakeholder platform initiated in 2016, will push forward the ABC Global Charter and encourage the worldwide breast cancer community, policy makers and the public to unite to help change the future of ABC patients.
Much progress has been made in the diagnosis, management and outcomes of early breast cancer, however major gaps still exist in the treatment and management of ABC and median survival has remained stubbornly stuck at two to three years after diagnosis. Although breast cancer is thought to be a disease of the developed world, almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries.
"Despite significant improvements in early breast cancer, the care of ABC has lagged behind with too many people still dying too early from advanced disease. There is an urgent need for change", points out Fatima Cardoso, director of the Breast Unit, Champalimaud Clinical Centre, Lisbon, Portugal and chair of the ABC Global Alliance. "The ABC Global Charter is an ambitious charter for change. Our goal is to unite the ABC community to work together towards common, achievable goals and work is now underway to implement the Actions for Change at international and local levels, ultimately to improve and extend the lives of ABC patients."
The Charter centres on 10 Actions for Change with each action tailored to ensure that it is relevant for different geographic regions. The Actions for Change address gaps in ABC research, ABC patient care and ABC in society as identified by previous research. Prior to publication, these actions were discussed and agreed by the wider ABC community through an open consultation process managed by the ABC Global Alliance.
The 10 Actions for Change are as follows:
- 1. Double median overall survival for patients with ABC to at least 4 years by 2025
2. Improve quality of life for ABC patients in clinical practice
3. Improve availability of robust epidemiology and outcomes data for ABC
4. Increase availability and access to multidisciplinary care, including palliative, supportive, and psychosocial assistance for patients, families, and caregivers to ensure patients are receiving the best treatment experience
5. Strive for all patients with ABC to have financial support for treatment, care and assistance if unable to work
6. Offer communication skills training to all healthcare providers
7. Provide accurate and up-to-date ABC-specific information tools to all patients who want them
8. Increase public understanding of ABC
9. Improve access to non-clinical supportive services for ABC
10. Protect workforce rights for patients with ABC
The Actions for Change will be discussed in detail at the first ABC Global Alliance meeting on 4-5 November 2017 in Lisbon. This meeting follows the ABC 4 Conference and aims to unite the breast cancer community behind the Alliance's goals to improve and extend the lives of women and men living with ABC in all countries worldwide and to fight for a cure.