4 February = WORLD CANCER DAY
Theme 2023: “Close the care gap”
The POSITIVE – BIG Time for Baby study closes the gap: breast cancer is no longer a reason to postpone pregnancy
The start of a new year always brings hope. The POSITIVE – BIG Time for Baby study lives up to its name and brings positivity and real hope to young women with hormone-sensitive early breast cancer who dream to become pregnant one day. The first study results showed that pausing anti-hormone therapy to try to get pregnant can be done without additional risk of recurrence of their disease in the short term. This academic study wouldn’t have been possible without global collaboration.
“Receiving the diagnosis of breast cancer is bad, but not living is worse. The POSITIVE study gave me the chance not to give up my desire to have a baby. Today, I have two wonderful healthy children, the joy of my life!”, says Sabrina.
My dream came true – testimony of Sabrina
For the occasion of World Cancer Day, Sabrina testifies about those difficult and intense moments of her life. She’s very grateful that she was given the chance to participate in this study. The chance that every young woman who dreams of one day becoming a mother deserves.
Sabrina’s video testimonial will be launched on 4th February, on World Cancer Day, and will be shared via the social media channels.
World Cancer Day 2023
Just like last year, this year’s theme of World Cancer Day is “Close the Care Gap”. This global campaign, which emphasises that we are stronger when we are united, also celebrates real-world progress and allows us to demonstrate the importance of global academic breast cancer research and the impact it has on the quality of life of many of us.
The POSITIVE study – Together, we can close the gap and change the face of breast cancer
Thanks to ongoing research efforts and global collaboration, pausing endocrine treatment can be done by young women with a wish to have a child without additional short-term risks of recurrence of their disease. The first POSITIVE study results (December 2022) show that the rates of breast cancer coming back were similar to women who did not interrupt their treatment, and most were able to conceive and deliver healthy babies. This is very encouraging, and the study participants will be followed for several years to see whether these results endure over time. For this, further funding is necessary.
Academic research helps to close the gaps: the Breast International Group (BIG) holds a unique position in the field of breast cancer research. Thanks to its global network of academic breast cancer research groups, studies without commercial interest, such as the POSITIVE study, can be developed by world-class breast cancer experts and can be financed in-part through BIG’s philanthropic community. The precious support of foundations, companies and private donors is vital to ensure the completion of the POSITIVE study for the benefit of many young women who wish to have a baby after breast cancer.
The POSITIVE study is sponsored and conducted by the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG), a division of ETOP-IBCSG Partners Foundation, and by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology in North America, in collaboration with the Breast International Group (BIG). The study concept was initiated within the BIG-NCTN (National Clinical Trials Network) Endocrine Working Group and then developed and coordinated globally by the IBCSG to address this important, patient-oriented, unmet medical need.
Press release from December 2022: POSITIVE study results presented at San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2022 (8 Dec 2022).
Recent international news articles and broadcast reports (TV/website) on the POSITIVE study results (Dec 2022):
- NBC News (US)
- AP News (US)
- SRF – Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (Switzerland, German)
- RSI – Radiotelevisione Svizzera (Switzerland, Italian)
- Die Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)
- La Vanguardia (Spain)
Breast cancer in young women
The majority of young women with early breast cancer have a hormone-sensitive, so-called oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+) disease, meaning the cancer cells are fed by their own hormones. These women therefore receive endocrine treatment to block the natural production of hormones in order to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. Endocrine therapy may be prescribed for 5-10 years and impacts the ovaries, preventing conception while on treatment.