2020 was marked by a major global public health crisis. The sudden and overwhelming COVID-19 pandemic and its global implications tested the resilience of many individuals, communities, and healthcare systems around the world. We are all indebted to the work of many people to care for those with COVID-19 infection as well as those with other conditions, and we need to remember those known to us who did not recover. We are all grateful for the amazing work done by teams of scientists to develop a vaccine in such a record time, a tribute to inventiveness, collaboration, and clinical trialists around the world.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and all the challenges it posed, members of the BIG network continued their efforts to advance breast cancer research, demonstrating great resilience and persistence. None of BIG’s achievements would be possible without the willingness to work together.
TOGETHER, we are stronger, more resilient and persistent in finding cures for breast cancer
In this annual report, we describe how and why BIG conducts large international clinical trials. Not only does this require resilience and persistence at every stage – from planning to completion –, it also entails tremendous effort to secure the necessary funding.
The sections “BIG Research” en “BIG Network” give you a peek at BIG member groups’ research and related activities around the world. It also includes a few examples of how BIG member groups adapted quickly to address the challenges of COVID-19.
In 2020, Professor Martine Piccart, BIG’s co-founder, stepped down from BIG’s Executive Board. She continues to be involved in the organisation as Senior Advisor to BIG and President of BIG against breast cancer.
BIG against breast cancer, BIG’s dedicated philanthropy unit, conducts vital fundraising to support BIG’s clinical trials and research programmes that have no commercial interest but are crucial for breast cancer patients. The funds raised provide the means for BIG member groups and their affiliated hospitals, and other partners, to finance their efforts and patient participation in a study. This is made possible by the generosity of foundations, companies, ambassadors, and individuals. The section “BIG Philanthropy” provides an overview of activities carried out by BIG against breast cancer.
In name of everyone at BIG, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all member groups, partners, faithful ambassadors, donors and staff for their support and collaborative spirit to help advance breast cancer research. And, just as importantly, we wish to thank and honour the thousands of patients who participate in our trials and work with us to develop tomorrow’s cures.
Enjoy the reading.
Professor David Cameron
Voorzitter van BIG