After interest from over 100 organisations around the world, UICC has received a total of 83 Letters of Intent (LOI) from cancer organisations based in 42 countries for the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge. The first-of-its-kind SPARC MBC Challenge aims to provide grassroots support in addressing the unique challenges faced by women living with an advanced (metastatic) breast cancer diagnosis worldwide.
The letters of intent, including 34 submitted by UICC members, are already proposing some valuable innovative ways to help patients navigate health systems, raise awareness and reduce stigma in communities, and encourage governments to improve their response to metastatic breast cancer patients.
They will now be reviewed by a panel of seven international experts who will select those who will go on to submit full proposals. Up to twenty competitively selected organisations will be granted funding, provided by Pfizer, to implement novel projects in the areas of advocacy, education, and policy, to maximise impact and outreach to women at risk of, or living with stage III or IV breast cancer.
In 2016, 20 organisations from 18 countries received grants totaling $760,000 (USD). First round applicants now completing their projects are starting to show some impressive achievements such as Project Pink Blue’s launch of a patient navigation programme in Abuja (Nigeria) and UWOCASO’s presentation of their research findings on clinical and psychological needs of MBC patients in Uganda, attended by the Ugandan Speaker of parliament.