The ABC Consensus Conference has established itself as the major international conference for Advanced Breast Cancer, and a forum for sharing best clinical practices, inform on the latest scientific updates in the field and, mainly, continue, over the editions, advancing on the goal of improving outcomes for all patients with advanced breast cancer.
The ABC consensus conference started as a pioneering initiative of ESO in 2011, and from the willingness to change the abandonment feelings from ABC patients. Its primary goal is the development of international consensus guidelines for the management of advanced breast cancer patients. These guidelines are based on the most up-to date evidence and can be used to guide treatment decision making in many different health care settings globally, with the necessary adaptations due to different access to care. Throughout the years, these guidelines have been endorsed by several international and European organizations, and several organizations around the world have been adapting them to their country specific environment, particularly in terms of accessibility.
The encouragement and positive feedback we have received from individual patients and professionals has emphasised the importance of this initiative and reinforced our belief that this effort must continue.
The powerful lobbying and advocacy efforts from the ABC Conference are now being taken further by the ABC Global Alliance, an independent non-profit multi-stakeholder organization dedicated exclusively to improve and extend the lives of women and men living with ABC worldwide. The ABC Global Alliance has now taken over the responsibility for the organization of the ABC Consensus Conference.
The last meeting, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2019, brought together 1.500 participants from 90 countries around the world, including health professionals, patient advocates and journalists. We strongly believe that health professionals working closely together with patient advocates and with the strong support of the media can raise awareness about the needs and challenges faced by this traditionally underserved and forgotten group of patients. ABC also aims to identify research priorities based on the most important areas of unmet needs, analyse and discuss available data to provide the most accurate management recommendations, as well as influence policy makers and funding bodies and ultimately improve standards of care, survival and quality of life. Research and education, with accurate usage of available knowledge, throughout the world, are key to achieve these goals.
At ABC6, all topics will be presented from the perspective of a multidisciplinary and multi-professional approach, from basic research to clinical implementation. The conference will again close with a consensus session where discussion will focus on updating the ABC guidelines.
ABC guidelines are developed by the ABC Global Alliance and guidelines or ABC conferences have been endorsed and supported by several other international oncology organisations such as ESO (European School of Oncology), EONS (European Oncology Nursing Society), ESSO (European Society of Surgical Oncology), European Cancer Organization, AGO (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynäkologische Onkologie), EUSOMA (European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists), ESTRO (European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology), UICC (Union Internationale Contre le Cancer), SIS (Senologic International Society) / ISS (International School of Senology), OECI (Organization of European Cancer Institutes) and BCRF (Breast Cancer Research Foundation).
It is my pleasure to invite you to join us at the Advanced Breast Cancer Sixth International Consensus Conference (ABC6) that will take place for the first time in a virtual format. As the virtual environment has no boundaries we hope that these exceptional circumstances will allow us to reach even more healthcare professionals, patients advocates and all involved stakeholders, around the world, to work together to improve the lives of all ABC patients worldwide.
Fatima Cardoso, MD
Chair of ABC6 and President of the ABC Global Alliance