• The Union for International Cancer Control and Pfizer Announce New Phase of Global Grants Initiative Supporting Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

    • February 6, 2019
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    In conjunction with World Cancer Day, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Pfizer Inc. announce the third round of the Seeding Progress And Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC): Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Challenge: their pioneering grants initiative designed to support the implementation of projects worldwide that address the specific needs of women with metastatic breast cancer in local communities – many of which extend beyond treatment. 

    A total of US$275,000 in funding will be awarded to 10 new organizations, bringing the SPARC awardees network to 50 cancer organizations from all across the globe with a total funding of US$1,565,000. As part of this new round, five grantees from Round 2 of the SPARC MBC Challenge will receive additional funding to continue their projects.

    In addition to receiving the seed grant to support their projects, the new awardees will benefit from trainings, best-practice sharing workshops, and mentoring. They will also have the opportunity to participate in key global convening cancer events to network, share knowledge, and showcase their work.

    Dr Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer of the Union for International Cancer Control, said: “We are proud that, together with Pfizer, we will continue to improve the lives of people living with metastatic breast cancer cross the world through this unique programme that combines seed grants, mentoring and peer-to-peer learning.”

    The impact of the SPARC MBC Challenge has been significant. Since the initiative launched in 2015, over 8,000 patients from 30 countries have been reached directly through SPARC projects, and more than 125,000 people have benefitted from SPARC advocacy campaigns and information materials. Organizations such as Project Pink Blue and Run for a Cure Africa have reached the next level receiving international awards and additional funds after receiving the SPARC grant. In particular, SPARC contributed to:

    • Supporting metastatic breast cancer patients through projects such as the creation of an online app to guide patients in finding financial resources to cover some of the expenses of the disease in Canada; a project for young women to better cope with MBC through integrative oncology techniques (occupational therapy, expressive creative techniques, mind body intervention, and acupuncture) in Mexico and training for patients on the importance of treatment adherence in Bulgaria
    • Strengthening advocates and supporting the development of a positive national policy environment for MBC. SPARC projects have delivered training on advocacy for metastatic breast cancer for individuals from 47 European countries, supported the recent inclusion of medicines for MBC in the National Essential Medicines list in Kyrgyzstan and contributed to the development of supportive national legislation on cancer in Brazil and Nigeria.
    • Reducing the information gap for patients, with information materials and advocacy campaigns created in 26 local languages. SPARC enabled the creation of the first navigational programs in Nigeria and Trinidad & Tobago.
    • Building local capacity. Nearly 2,000 health professionals were trained on how to manage the specific needs of MBC patients across all SPARC projects. In Australia, an e-learning training was deployed across the country to help nurses better attend to the needs of MBC patients. 
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