Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) accounts for 90% of breast cancer deaths. To tackle this growing cancer burden in 2015 UICC teamed up with Pfizer Oncology to launch the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) MBC Challenge
Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer amongst women (2.1 million cases each year) accounting for almost 1 in 4 cancer cases. Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) is the most advanced stage of breast cancer and occurs when the disease spreads to other parts of the body such as lungs, brain, liver and bones. MBC accounts for 90% of breast cancer deaths.
To tackle this growing cancer burden in 2015 UICC teamed up with Pfizer Oncology to launch the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) MBC Challenge. This global grant initiative seeks to support new ideas and projects from advocacy groups, hospital networks and other non-for-profit organisations working to address the specific needs of MBC patients. With the ambition of saving more lives by reducing the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer at a late stage, SPARC projects focus on closing the gap in patient information and support, growing awareness, influencing national policies and strengthening health systems. Through training, networking, mentoring and financial support, the SPARC MBC Challenge has awarded over USD 1.5 million to 51 organisations from 35 countries, helping to get their projects off the ground.
To date, SPARC has enabled 23’000 MBC patients to benefit from patient support groups , psychosocial interventions and navigation programmes. Over 1’176’000 people have been reached by MBC informational resources and awareness campaigns, and 2’625 professionals have been trained on palliative care, advocacy for MBC and patient navigation. *
A Selection Advisory Group of renowned experts led by Dr Fatima Cardoso carefully selected all of the 51 projects that have received a SPARC grant. Selected organisations from countries as diverse as Haiti, Canada, Tajikistan, Zambia, Romania and the Philippines all address the local needs of MBC patients in their country in a unique way.
* Information describing the impact of the SPARC projects have been reported by the respective SPARC grantee.
In addition to the seed-funding that allows the SPARC grantees to launch new projects, UICC supports grantee organisations to deliver effective and impactful projects by proving them with training, access to international events on MBC, mentorship and peer-to-peer learning.
The SPARC Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Challenge is a UICC grants programme, delivered in partnership with Pfizer.
UICC has a long history of building capacity for cancer organisations globally through grant making.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, UICC set up a Solidarity Fund in response to its members’ requests to bridge funding into the region to support the needs of cancer organisations struggling to assist patients affected by the conflict.
As part of its Breast Cancer Programme, UICC has awarded 15 grants to UICC members to support evidence-based projects focused on improving the availability of and access to early detection of breast cancer.
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