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Press release

SPARC organisations gather at the Advanced Breast Cancer Fifth International Consensus Conference to exchange experiences on addressing the needs of people living with metastatic breast cancer

• The SPARC MBC Challenge programme, an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) supported
  by Pfizer Oncology, will provide the selected cancer organisations with the opportunity to build their network and
  engage in peer-to-peer learning through a series of tailored activities, and participate in the event

• The recently selected SPARC awardees will be launching eleven new projects in the coming months tackling MBC
  patients’ access to information and support, advocating for the development of national policies, and growing
  awareness around the disease

14 November, Lisbon, Portugal - The eleven 2019 SPARC organisations, from ten countries, selected for the third round of the SPARC MBC Challenge, will be joined by an additional eight SPARC organisations from previous rounds at the Advanced Breast Cancer Fifth International Consensus Conference (ABC5). SPARC MBC Challenge is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) supported by Pfizer Oncology aiming to support projects across the world tackling MBC patients’ specific needs to, ultimately, reduce the number of women diagnosed at an advanced stage of breast cancer.

Coming from countries such as Nigeria, Venezuela, Tanzania, and Haiti among others, the 2019 SPARC awardees will participate in a dedicated workshop taking place before the conference, present their projects that will be launched through SPARC seed funding, and share experiences and best practices with each other and past SPARC grantees to further inform their activities. The workshop will also benefit from expert contributions, including from Dr Fatima Cardoso, Chair of the SPARC Selection advisory group.

In addition to these tailored activities, some SPARC projects, supported via SPARC grants in 2015 and 2017, will also be presented as part of the main ABC5 programme. The delegates to this conference will hear how Project Pink Blue is using new technologies to address the needs of women living with advanced breast cancer in Nigeria, as well as Clinique Médicale Camassistance’s progress in putting in place a palliative care programme and collaboration with traditional healers in Cameroon.

“At UICC we are extremely glad to be able to bring together these cancer organisations from all across the globe so they can exchange their experiences in tackling the needs of MBC patients, and apply the take aways to the projects they will be initiating soon”. Sabrina Zucchello, Grants manager at UICC.
This gathering will contribute to strengthen and consolidate the SPARC MBC Challenge network, currently formed by more than 50 organisations in 35 countries.

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List of SPARC awardees attending the SPARC workshop in Lisbon.

To request an interview with a SPARC awardee or the SPARC MBC Challenge programme manager, please, get in touch with Patricia Galve, UICC’s Communications and Media Manager, at galve@uicc.org or 0041 79 955 04 78.

About the SPARC MBC Challenge
SPARC MBC Challenge is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) supported by Pfizer Oncology aiming to support projects across the world tackling the needs of people living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) with the ultimate objective of reducing the number of women diagnosed at an advanced stage of breast cancer.

MBC patients can often struggle to understand their diagnosis, to access timely and quality treatment (including palliative care), and may lack financial, psychological and social support. Compounding these challenges, people living with MBC have a high chance of developing anxiety and depression, which can lead to social isolation and marginalisation.

In 2015, recognising the urgent needs of MBC patients, UICC teamed up with Pfizer Oncology to launch the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) MBC Challenge. This global grant initiative seeks to support new ideas and projects from advocacy groups, hospital networks and other non-for-profit organisations working to address the specific needs of MBC patients.

With the ambition of saving more lives by reducing the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer at a late stage, SPARC projects focus on closing the gap in patient information and support, growing awareness, influencing national policies and strengthening health systems.!

Through training, networking, mentoring and financial support, the SPARC MBC Challenge has awarded grants to over 50 organisations from 35 countries, helping to get their projects off the ground.

More information about the SPARC MBC Challenge at https://bit.ly/2W5stHe