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Transatlantic alliance supports breast cancer research

Brussels, 6 May 2009 A new transatlantic alliance has formed in the global battle against breast cancer, with the US-based international grass-roots movement Susan G. Komen for the Cure giving its support to the groundbreaking IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference, co-organized by the Breast International Group (BIG) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world's largest source of non-profit funds for the fight against breast cancer. To help accelerate the search for cures for breast cancer, it will fund young cancer doctors from less affluent countries to attend the IMPAKT meeting where world leaders in translational research will discuss cutting-edge treatments that are now moving from laboratories into the clinical setting. Komen will also support ESMO research fellowships in preeminent cancer centers in Western Europe to offer doctors from Eastern European countries the opportunity to learn the newest technologies and bring them back to their home institutes.

"As breast cancer knows no borders, neither can our fight to end it," said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "And so we must work together -- as we're doing here from nearly 70 countries -- as one united global breast cancer community. We need to put cancer at the top of the global health agenda. With the resources and resolve to prevent the preventable, treat the treatable, cure the curable, and provide palliative care for those in need."

"If we can work together -- researchers, clinicians and governments -- to cooperate and collaborate, it may be possible not only to discover cures but to translate and deliver them," added Ambassador Brinker. "We must forge an approach that is not simply anti-disease, but pro-health, and not simply treatment, but prevention."

"We hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration. Our collective impact on breast cancer research and advocacy should not be underestimated," said Annetta Hewko, Vice President of Global Strategy and Programs at Susan G. Komen for the Cure at the IMPAKT press conference.

The IMPAKT meeting brings together seven partners, representing the leading oncology, research and cancer advocacy network involved in breast cancer in Europe.

"We are very pleased that Susan G. Komen for the Cure has decided to support IMPAKT in this way," said Dr Jos Baselga, co-chair of the meeting. "Our aim is to help develop new treatments for breast cancer patients worldwide. The best hope of achieving this is by creating the largest possible network of breast cancer specialists to share their information, resources and findings."

The first IMPAKT meeting, 7-9 May 2009 in Brussels, Belgium, is designed to present and discuss advances in translational research and ways to quickly transform laboratory discoveries into tools that clinicians can use to help make decisions about the way they treat patients in their daily practice.

"With breast cancer being the most prevalent cancer in women worldwide, collaboration to fight this devastating disease is necessary," says Dr. Martine Piccart, co-Chair of the meeting. "IMPAKT fills an urgent need within the oncology community to coordinate efforts to bring the fruits of advances in science and technology to the patient's bedside."


Contact: ESMO Press Office
European Society for Medical Oncology

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