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Improving Care of Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Patients in Europe – 2020/2021 RFP Project

 

Project Results Press Release 

Request for Proposals (RFP) info downloadable here

Seven Projects and $1.5 Million USD to Improve Quality of Life in Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Patients in Europe

Seven projects have been selected following the European request for proposals sponsored by Pfizer Global Medical Grants in partnership with SPCC - Sharing Progress in Cancer Care. The initiative is now entering the operational project execution stage that will play out over the next two years.

The Seven Winning Projects

SDA Bocconi, Italy - www.unibocconi.it

“Supporting Shared Decision-making and Communication in Metastatic Breast Cancer: The Shareview Project”

The key requirements of good clinical practice in cancer care include effective communication of the diagnosis and treatment options to patients, family members and caregivers. While there is no single approach or best decision, the shared decision-making process is essential in order to ensure better treatment acceptance and adherence, as reported by a Cochrane study on a sample of 105 cases(***). The general objective of the Shareview project (Supporting shared decisionmaking and communication in metastatic breast cancer) is to improve quality of care in patients with metastatic breast cancer, by studying current communication, information and decisionmaking practices and thereby revising the approaches used in Europe. Specifically, over a 16-month period, Shareview will map current approaches and shared practices, using these as a basis for developing and trialling a decision support system suitable for patients, caregivers, family members and stakeholders.

European Institute of Oncology, Italy - www.ieo.it

“Enhancing Therapy Adherence Among Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer”

Non-adherence to treatment – either intentional or non-intentional – is a major problem when it comes to chronic diseases. Therapy requires a set of complex behaviours that the patient has to incorporate into their day-to-day life, often radically changing their lifestyle in the process. In the case of MBC, where between 22% and 46% of patients are non-adherent, a high number (up to 73%!) of patients starting oral treatments do not complete the prescribed course of therapy, with negative repercussions on their quality of life, survival and health economics. Treatment adherence is a complex matter stemming from the interplay of multiple factors. For this reason, the IEO has developed a predictive model for non-adherence and a decision support system to foster greater awareness and acceptance of therapy among MBC patients with regard to oral chemotherapy, hormone therapy, supportive care and treatment of comorbidities.

Klinikum der LMU München, Klinik und Poliklinik für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe, Brustzentrum, Germany - www.lmu-klinikum.de/frauenheilkunde-und-geburtshilfe

"Care Improvement for Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients Treated with PARP-inhibitors (CAMPA)”

The project aims to increase treatment adherence in advanced metastatic breast cancer patients who have been prescribed long-term therapies with PARP inhibitors. PARP inhibitors have recently been approved for MBC by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In the initial months, they cause side effects that can be reduced by discontinuing the therapy or varying the dose, as part of an ongoing, personalised monitoring programme. In this context, the CAMPA project is developing a system that will help educate patients and support them during oral therapy, without involving the general practitioner directly, who can then focus their attention on new patients. The training of nursing staff and use of the e-Health platform are at the heart of a programme that aims to recruit 100 patients over 18 months of activity.

EUROPA DONNA - The European Breast Cancer Coalition, Italy – www.europadonna.it

“Europa Donna Advocacy for Quality of Care Improvement in Patients with MBC”

Based on internal studies showing the lack of uniformity in access to healthcare services and psychological and social support for MBC patients, even in high-income countries such as Finland and Denmark, Europa Donna proposes a campaign to raise awareness of aspects of the disease including optimal follow-up, rehabilitation, aftercare and improved quality of life for patients. With 26 years of experience in the field, advocating best practices for breast disease care, Europa Donna is recognised far and wide. It relies on a unique breast cancer advocacy network in 47 countries. It will therefore get all its national member sites involved in a far-reaching educational project addressing a wide cross-section of the public as well as a more specialist audience.

Hadassah University Hospital, Israel - www.hadassah.org.il

“Health Care Disparities in Culturally Diverse, Special Needs, and Disadvantaged Populations- Bridging the Gap”

The project was conceived with the aim of bridging the gap in terms of access to diagnostics and therapy in populations that are culturally diverse despite living in the same region. The capital of Israel, Jerusalem, is a highly diverse city from a religious and cultural perspective: 60% of its inhabitants are Jewish and 38% Arabic, most of whom are Muslim. 40% of the Jewish population is ultra-Orthodox. Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews share the highest poverty rate in the country, deeprooted religious beliefs and patriarchal family traditions that give rise to poor access to diagnostics, let alone to therapy.
The objective of the project is to characterise advanced breast cancer diagnosis, therapy and results, with a particular focus on multi-ethnic settings, while attempting to identify the cultural barriers leading to poor access to healthcare. On completion, the data collected will enable the planning of strategic programmes that can be adapted to different cultural and religious settings.

Stowarzyszenie Różowy Motyl, Poland - http://www.rozowymotyl.pl/

“comPrehensive mANAgement plan for metastatic breast CancEr pAtients – PANACEA (application)”

Although the medical treatment of MBC has improved significantly over recent years, the condition of patients is often still neglected, especially in terms of the complex management of the psychosocial, organisational, family and economic aspects that come from having a disease that is treatable but still terminal to this day.
The project involves creating an IT tool which, based on preliminary analyses of patients’ needs, will be able to bring a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to care. The website is a valuable help for the patient and their family, for managing treatment on a day-to-day basis, as well as solving external problems, such as those regarding legal and professional matters, or psychological and family-related aspects. This innovative project relies on the help of a new professional figure, the “rehab manager” (rehabilitation manager), and plans to involve 80 patients over the course of two years.

European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), Belgium - https://cancernurse.eu/

“ABC4Nurses: Quality of Care Improvement in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients”

With a study conducted in 34 EU countries, the EONS showed how only 55% of these countries are equipped with Specialist Breast Units (SBU), with a mere 34% of the latter indicating the existence of a certification and accreditation system. What is more, 35% of European women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have no access to specialist units. The EONS’ project was conceived to ensure that patients receive care from highly trained and specialised cancer nurses. The project aims to develop, deliver and evaluate a comprehensive and inclusive online training programme that is appropriate for practice and provides European nurses with knowledge and skills in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) care, developing the training programme in line with current requirements in this area of practice.

 

Expert Panel Reviewers

Matti Aapro, Sharing Progress in Cancer Care and Clinique de Genolier, Bellinzona and Genolier, Switzerland

Giuseppe Curigliano, European Institute of Oncology, Milan

Lucia Del Mastro, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino–University of Genoa

Pascale Dielenseger, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif

Alex Eniu, Riviera-Chablais Vaud-Valais, Rennaz

Joseph Gligorov, University Cancer Institute APHP.6, Sorbonne University, Paris

Nadia Harbeck, University of Munich

Pietro Presti, Sharing Progress in Cancer Care (SPCC), Turin/Bellinzona

Elzbieta Senkus, Medical University of Gdansk

Rosanna Tarricone, Bocconi University, Milan


The RFP Project

This RFP is open to investigators from European institutions and networks (members or not of OECI) as well as professional societies and patient advocacy groups.
Collaboration between institutions and across European countries is strongly encouraged in order to foster the interactive sharing of knowledge and expertise, and to utilize the combined strengths of members. Also, partnerships between clinically focused academic centres/departments with centres of health policy, healthcare management 
or health economics skills are also encouraged. Investigators can be of any health care professional background.

Gaps in Clinical Practice


A gap in clinical practice is considered to be the difference between current practice and the optimal standard of care. Gaps are associated with a combination of:

• Clinician factors (e.g. knowledge, competencies, attitudes or preferences);

• Patient factors (e.g. access to care, clinical characteristics, comorbid conditions, preferences, Quality of Life (QOL), work, family);

• Clinician and patient communication (e.g. clinical trial recruitment, genetic counseling, access to genetic testing);

• Health system organization including care processes (integrated breast cancer care vs. practice-based MBC care), resources, availability of all required aspects of care including access to genetic testing.

Gaps in clinical practice may relate to the ability or competencies of the health care professionals themselves, the abilities or competencies of the systems in which they work to promote or allow proper management, or other factors related to the external environment or patient population.
This RFP seeks to provide funding to projects that, ultimately, are aimed at helping health care providers deliver the best treatment to each patient at the optimal time.

Scope of the Project


SPCC and Pfizer are committed to funding projects that:

• Bring the heath care team together, including innovative organizations, to understand gaps in practice and develop strategies to improve care/close the gap.

• Further identify quality and performance gaps in the treatment of MBC with deeper analyses and understanding of the gaps and needs of those targeted and/or included in the intervention. These can encompass a broad set of areas.

Needs may include improved provider knowledge regarding clinical aspects (i.e. pathology and mechanism of action and toxicities of treatment choices) and extend to organizational, logistical, as well as technological gaps.

• Facilitate health care systems and providers to engage patients, their caregivers and families in shared decisionmaking.

• Use evidence-based educational strategies that are aligned with the desired results of the intervention.

Areas of Interest

1) Optimal treatment strategies for patients with MBC based on patient and tumor characteristics and genetic risk addressing treatment disparities with respect to age/socioeconomic background or setting i.e. patients in a remote setting without access to a reference cancer center/hospital or education level.

2) Delivering optimal treatment regardless of physician disciplines and wherever there is a point of MBC patients contact i.e. primary care (gynaecologists, surgeons).

3) Leveraging a multi-disciplinary team and approach to improve patient quality of MBC delivery of care.

4) Therapy management.

5) Health care professionals, healthcare managers and policymaker education in terms of outcomes research (assessment of QOL, caregiver perspective), assessment of treatment options vs healthcare systems sustainability in order to optimize MBC treatment strategies for patients. This can include incorporation of new technologies to enhance the quality of delivery of healthcare services to MBC patients.

6) Patient education, shared treatment goals, and engagement in decision making.

7) Patient adherence with MBC treatment.

8) Patient reported outcomes in MBC patients.

LOIs addressing topics in addition to those listed above will be considered. A plan for long-term sustainability should be included within the submission.

This RFP is open to investigators from European institutions and networks (members or not of OECI) will be considered as well as professional societies and patient advocacy groups. Collaboration between institutions and across European countries is strongly encouraged in order to foster the interactive sharing of knowledge and expertise, and to utilize the combined strengths of members. Also, partnerships between clinically focused academic centres/departments with centres of health policy, healthcare management and health economics skills are also encouraged. Investigators can be of any health care professional background.

RFP Target Group

This RFP is open to investigators from European institutions and networks (members or not of OECI) will be considered as well as professional societies and patient advocacy groups. Collaboration between institutions and across European countries is strongly encouraged in order to foster the interactive sharing of knowledge and expertise, and to utilize the combined strengths of members. Also, partnerships between clinically focused academic centres/departments with centres of health policy, healthcare management and health economics skills are also encouraged. Investigators can be of any health care professional background.