SPARC - Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge

SPARC will expand in 2019-2020 and reach a total of 50 cancer organisations awarded worldwide

As part of the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community: metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge (SPARC mBC Challenge) launched in 2015 by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Pfizer, 40 cancer organisations in 30 countries have already received SPARC grants to start new projects addressing the needs of metastatic breast cancer patients.



With 10 additional organisations joining the initiative in 2019, 50 cancer organisations will receive a total funding of US$1,250,000. In addition to seed- grants, the SPARC awardees benefit from trainings, best-practice sharing workshops and mentoring. They will also have the opportunity to participate in key global convening cancer events to network and showcase their work. The application process will open at the end of February.

Read the official press release here.

The partnership

Pfizer Oncology

Pfizer and UICC have joined forces to offer the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge grants, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at empowering advocacy groups, hospital networks, support groups and other organisations worldwide as they initiate projects to close the gap in information, support, awareness, and policy between metastatic breast cancer and early breast cancer, as well as help reduce the number of women diagnosed at the metastatic stage of breast cancer. 

More than 1.6 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and this is increasing particularly in low- and middle-income countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed at late stages. 

In 2015 twenty competitively selected organisations were granted funding to implement novel and sustainable projects addressing the unique challenges facing women with metastatic breast cancer in their country, in 2017 another twenty and selected 2015 ongoing projects benefited from a new round of grants.

Why Advanced Breast Cancer?

In 2015, breast cancer constitutes 25% of all cancer cases diagnosed around the world. Over the next decade, more than 16 million women will learn that they have breast cancer, and approximately one-third of these women will develop advanced disease (stages III and IV). While global funding for early stage disease has received essential and substantial attention, much fewer resources have been dedicated to advanced breast cancer patients. It is an incurable disease, requiring a robust and individualised response from a given health system, as well as long-term social and psychological resources as patients face complicated decisions, and often face discrimination and a sense of isolation. 

Click on the image below for facts on metastatic breast cancer.

Metastatic Breast Cancer - fact 1
Metastatic Breast Cancer - fact 2
Metastatic Breast Cancer - fact 3
Metastatic Breast Cancer - fact 4
Metastatic Breast Cancer - fact 5
Last update: 
Monday 4 February 2019