The unmet needs of older patients with breast cancer
The themed article of this edition of the BIG Research in Focus highlights the unmet needs of older patients with breast cancer. Older patients are under-represented in breast cancer clinical trials and, although drug regulators discourage studies with upper age limits, exclusion criteria still mean that patients over 65 years old are frequently left out of important research. Without clinical trial evidence of efficacy and safety in older people, clinicians may be reluctant to prescribe novel agents, especially to their frailer patients, and getting reimbursement for drug doses, schedules and combinations adapted for older patients can be challenging. How are leading breast cancer researchers addressing the need to include more of the growing population of older patients in clinical trials?”, medical journalist, Jenny Bryan, reports. She also discusses the background of the APPALACHES clinical trial and the implications for breast cancer care with some of those closest to this important trial. The article is based on interviews with Professors Etienne Brain, Hans Wildiers, Masataka Sawaki, Laura Biganzoli and Nicolò Battisti.
The section “BIG Network” includes news on a new BIG member group: the Italian breast cancer research group Gruppo Italiano Mammella (GIM), represented by Dr Matteo Lambertini.
An important milestone is the publication of “Disparities in Access to Systemic treatment for Breast Cancer in Thailand and Major Asian Territories” in the Journal of Breast Cancer. This is a key achievement for the BIG-Asia Collaboration and we applaud the authors and members of the BIG-Asia network who contributed to completing the project.
Furthermore, we are proud to announce that three world-class breast cancer experts and long-time friends of BIG, Professors Martine Piccart, Etienne Brain and Fatima Cardoso, have recently been honoured with prestigious awards in the field of oncology.
For the fourth consecutive year, BIG and the EORTC are combining their efforts and expertise by organising an annual Pink October webinar for a scientific audience. For this year’s theme, we have also chosen to focus on “The unmet needs of older patients with breast cancer”. This BIG-EORTC webinar takes place on 19 October. Registration is free but mandatory. More information on the programme, speakers and registration can be found online: https://www.eortc.org/event/22441/.
The section “Clinical Trials and Activities” gives an update on BIG trials, their status and abstracts presented at ESMO Breast Cancer 2022 and ASCO Annual Meeting 2022.
The section “Other trials and activities by BIG Member Groups” gives a peek at BIG member’s research and related activities around the world.
Finally, an overview of all the clinical studies and trials run within the BIG network is provided.
We hope you will enjoy the reading!