Home » Other activities » Improving Care of Early Breast Cancer (EBC) Patients in Europe – 2023/2024 RFP Project – Call for Grants

Improving Care of Early Breast Cancer (EBC) Patients in Europe – 2023/2024 RFP Project – Call for Grants

Download the Press Release here.
Download the Request For Proposal by clicking here.


Sharing Progress in Cancer Care and Eli Lilly and Company collaborated to seek grant proposals to improve care of Early Breast Cancer (EBC) patients in Europe. The initiative has now (May, 2024) reached its second stage after the conclusion of the initial phase, with two projects selected in response to the call for proposals. The RFP aimed to convene healthcare professionals and innovative organisations to identify gaps in the treatment of Early Breast Cancer and develop strategies to enhance care and address those gaps.

SPCC and Eli Lilly and Company pledged to finance the two winning projects that will conduct in-depth analyses to identify quality and performance gaps in the treatment of Early Breast Cancer, understanding the needs of the individuals targeted by the intervention.

The objectives of the initiative encompassed facilitating healthcare systems and providers to involve patients, caregivers, and families in collaborative decision-making, alongside employing evidence-based educational strategies aligned with the desired outcomes of the intervention.

The urge for such a project is based on a concrete, evidence-based need. Breast cancer stands as the prevalent cancer diagnosis for women across the globe, topping the charts in 157 nations (*) and constituting a quarter of all cancer cases (*). It ranks second in frequency across genders and claims the highest mortality rate among women due to cancer. With approximately 2.3 million new cases in 2022 alone, breast cancer accounted for nearly one-ninth of all cancers diagnosed globally (*). In the same year, an estimated 669,418 deaths were attributed to breast cancer (*), with a significant portion occurring in regions with limited resources.

Given the escalating global burden of breast cancer and its profound impact on public health, there is an urgent need for concerted efforts to mitigate its effects and improve outcomes for those affected. Against this backdrop, initiatives addressing this pressing concern assume unprecedented significance.

This call for proposals presented a unique opportunity to explore practical solutions that would benefit not only patients, their caregivers, and families but also the intricate political and healthcare system tasked with ensuring swift and convenient access to diagnostics and care for the population.
The initiative attracted interest from 14 projects (from Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland). From these, an independent review panel established by SPCC selected the two winners, which were awarded grants for a total of $ 500,000 USD.


Projects Awarded

IEO European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Italy 
Development and testing of a patient’s decision aid for breast cancer at an early stage: a new tool to promote patient’s engagement in their healthcare process”

The early diagnosis of breast cancer profoundly affects women, causing significant physical and emotional changes that may hinder patient engagement and treatment adherence. Establishing strong doctor-patient communication and relationships during initial consultations is crucial for enhancing care and patient’s quality of life. Understanding patients’ experiences, needs, and preferences, along with physicians’ perspectives on communication, is essential for promoting shared decision-making (SDM). This project proposes developing an interactive Patient Decision Aid (PDA) tailored to patients’ needs to facilitate SDM during medical consultations. Through a mixed-method analysis involving interviews with breast cancer patients and oncology’s, the study assesses information needs, develop the PDA, and test its impact on SDM and quality of life. The ultimate goal is to refine the PDA based on feedback and produce a final version aligned with both patient and physician preferences.


LMU University Hospital, Germany
Care improvement for early breast cancer patients treated with oral tumor therapy (CarEoTT)”

In recent years, targeted therapies previously standard for hormone receptor-positive (HR+/HER2-neg) metastatic breast cancer (MBC) have been expanded to include high-risk breast cancer in the adjuvant setting. This expansion in complex oral tumour therapy management (OTT) is expected to lead to a rapid increase in patient numbers and duration of therapies up to 3 years in EBC, necessitating a re-evaluation of therapy management practices. Additionally, oral tumour therapies pose specific challenges, emphasizing the need for enhanced and personalized patient care.
Given the complexity of care for these patients, CarEoTT aims to implement and evaluate standardized oral therapy consultation sessions, involving trained non-doctoral staff to improve patient adherence and facilitate shared decision-making with the oncology team.
The project, adopting an interdisciplinary approach inclusive of specialized nurses and pharmacists, will be performed in Germany and Italy, where interprofessional care is not yet fully established. Furthermore, e-Health based support has proven helpful for oncologists, nurses, and patients during oral therapy treatment.
In CarEoTT, the app Cankado is used for improvement of adherence, side effect management and patient empowerment.


Panel of Expert Reviewers

Luis Costa, Hospital Santa Maria and Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Amanda Drury, EONS Board, Chair of the Research Working Group, Dublin, Ireland
Martina Fontana, EUROPA DONNA Policy and Research Officer, Milan, Italy
Joseph Gligorov, Hospital Tenon Ap-Hp, Paris, France
Nadia Harbeck, Breast Center, LMU University Hospital, Munich, Germany
Roberto Orecchia, IEO European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Milan, Italy
Frederique Penault-Llorca, Jean Perrin Center, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Isabel T. Rubio, Breast Surgical Unit, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Madrid, Spain


Key Dates

Anticipated full proposal notification date: by end of Q1 2024
Anticipated period of performance: from Q2 2024 to Q4 2025 (projects may have a shorter timeline).


Budget Guidance

The total available budget related to this RFP is approximately $500,000 USD. Individual projects requesting up to $250,000 USD (including direct and indirect costs) will be considered; smaller, lower-cost projects are also strongly encouraged. Institutional overhead and indirect costs may be included within the grant request but the inclusion of these costs cannot cause the amount requested to exceed the budget limit set forth in the RFP.

The grant amount Lilly will be prepared to fund will depend upon the evaluation of the proposal and costs involved, and this amount will be stated clearly in the Letter of Agreement.

Should a grant be awarded as a result of this RFP, certain payments may be subject to reporting by Lilly pursuant to the U.S. Physician Payment Sunshine Act (“Open Payments”) – a subpart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 or other applicable countryspecific reporting requirements.

The “Improving Care of Early Breast Cancer (EBC) Patients in Europe – 2023 RFP Project” will be conducted in accordance with the EFPIA code requirements. More information via working-together-for-patients-grants-anddonations.pdf (efpia.eu).


(*) see CANCER TODAY – International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)