This project is improving the care of people living with MBC

March 11, 2024

The MBC community has been shouting it from the proverbial rooftops since forever: Metastatic breast cancer is significantly under-researched and underfunded in the breast cancer space! That’s why in 2021 we partnered with Pfizer Canada to launch a joint research program to fund pioneering projects that will measurably improve the quality of care for people living with metastatic breast cancer.  
What we think makes this initiative extra special is that this is truly a project driven by lived experience – the areas of interest were determined by patients, for patients, through collaboration and input from Rethink’s MBC Advisory Board, and inspired by the James Lind Alliance‘s top 10 research priorities for MBC. Plus, the proposal review panel includes people living with or affected by MBC. 
As we head into our fourth year of this grant, we asked three of the people who have been involved with the project since its inception to share how they feel about the project and why it is so important to have people with lived experience involved in this process. 

I am so happy that Rethink and Pfizer continue to fund this grant and invest in research that aims to improve the quality of life for people living with metastatic breast cancer! This grant is unique because it is the patient and caregiver community that has identified the priorities that need to be addressed. As the people most affected by disease, it just makes sense that they would have the best understanding of the gaps in care that affect them most in their daily lives. As someone diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, this grant opportunity makes me feel heard and valued. I feel honoured to be part of the team that assembles the RFP and reviews the grant applications.” — Nathalie 

“Since the inception of this collaboration between Rethink and Pfizer, I have been extremely impressed with the level of input that real MBC patients have into this project. I had my doubts that as patients our voices would be muted along the way. The concept of patient involvement in the development of health research is fairly new and I am so glad that it is finally gaining some real traction. In this funding opportunity, it is patients that get to set the priorities, and it is patients that get to evaluate the research proposals against those priorities. As a patient, I feel that I am heard and considered along every step.” — Margaret 

[This project] aims to increase projects in Canada and elevate the efforts made to improve the lives of people living with MBC. It is the one piece of work that best demonstrates how patients, caregivers, and partners can work together to create change; leaning on each other’s strengths to move progress forward. It’s an example of the importance of partnerships in the patient advocacy setting; how the impact of our work is so much greater with a collective effort.  

I have learned that the model created by our efforts has now been adopted by Pfizer Canada with other patient groups. It means that the MBC advocates who expressed their needs and wishes to partners who were willing to listen, learn and move to action in tangible, real ways were (and are) trailblazers in the field, now impacting other patients in other settings. I am so proud to have been a part of this project from its inception and look forward to learning about the future projects it inspires.” — Vesna 

To learn more about this project, read about grant recipients from past years, view the 2024 RFP, and how we’re rethinking research, head here.  

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