13 October 2019

11 cancer organisations selected for the 3rd round of the SPARC MBC Challenge

Since the launch of this initiative in 2015, more than US $1.5 million has been granted to cancer organisations in order to support projects addressing the needs of metastatic breast cancer patients.

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This Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Awareness Day, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Pfizer Oncology are delighted to announce the names of the new cancer organisations selected to take part in the third round of the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community: Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge (SPARC MBC Challenge). Through the third round of the programme, the SPARC awardees network will grow to over 50 organisations in 35 countries. 

11 cancer organisations from 10 countries have been selected to enter this global programme and were selected to receive grant funding amounting to USD $275,000 provided primarily by Pfizer Oncology. The awardees will be supported to launch new projects tackling the needs of MBC patients in their communities by addressing the gap in information and support, raising awareness and contributing to strengthening the national health system. The organisations and projects selected to enter the SPARC MBC Challenge network are:

Each of the 11 organisations will receive up to USD 25’000 and benefit from training and mentoring alongside the opportunity to participate in key international cancer events such as the ABC Global Alliance Conference and the World Cancer Congress to exchange best practices with other organisations from around the world. 

“UICC is honoured to support these organisations to have such a strong impact in their respective communities. Through previous SPARC rounds, new resources and services have been developed to provide information, and financial or psychosocial support to MBC patients when they had little or no support at all. There have been national awareness campaigns to lower the stigma associated with the disease, and advocacy efforts that have improved equity in access to care. Through this new round of the SPARC programme, we hope that more MBC patients and their caregivers will be supported and more progress seen at the national level”.  
Dr Kirstie Graham, Director, Capacity Building at UICC.

Awardees were selected following a competitive application process overseen by an external, multidisciplinary advisory committee formed by UICC and chaired by Dr Fatima Cardoso, Director of the Breast Unit of the Champalimaud Cancer Center in Lisbon, Portugal. Selection criteria used to choose the awardees included; project relevance, potential for impact, feasibility, sustainability, as well as organisational capacity to implement the proposed project.

The SPARC MBC Challenge is a grants programme that supports projects worldwide aimed at addressing MBC patients’ specific needs to and ultimately, reduce the number of women diagnosed at an advanced stage of breast cancer. Since its launch in 2015 by UICC in partnership with Pfizer Oncology, it is estimated that the SPARC MBC Challenge has directly benefitted more than 14’000 MBC patients globally and has reached more than 140’000 people

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