The evolution of breast cancer treatment: past, present & future

Nurse and breast cancer patient

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Conference and reception

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of BIG, Professor Martine Piccart, Chair and co-founder of BIG gathered experts and supporters to discuss the state of breast cancer treatment at a reception preceded by an academic session in Brussels. 

Over 150 participants attended the conference held at the Palais des Académies, including Her Majesty the Queen of the Belgians who is the Honorary President of BIG against breast cancer. 

Speakers included Professor David Cameron (UK), Doctor Alberto Costa (IT), Professor Martine Piccart (BE), Princess Amaury de Merode as President of BIG’s Committee of Ambassadors and Mrs Betty Baligant, a breast cancer survivor. 

Each scientific speaker addressed the treatment of breast cancer either with a lens towards the past, present or future. The underlying message of the event was indeed how far we have come with the progression of breast cancer treatments. Women faced with the disease now have a better chance of survival and receive more personalised treatments which are less toxic, more targeted and less invasive. Future treatment options were discussed such as the possibility of immunotherapy meaning the immune system could be activated to destroy breast cancer cells.


Between 2012 and 2018, BIG has invested over 97,000,000 € in breast cancer research, making a huge difference in the lives of patients.


Several of BIG’s studies are purely academic and non-commercial, meaning funding is often limited but the outcomes of these studies hold great promise for patients. If you would like to learn more about BIG’s research which you can help sponsor, click here. For more in-depth information about BIG’s work in the scientific community and on-going trials and programmes click here. 

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Portrait of Sherene Loi, member of the executive board and medical oncologist

Professor Sherene Loi awarded

BIG Executive Board Member Professor Sherene Loi awarded the 2021 Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences’ Jian Zhou Medal