National Breast Cancer Coalition

Call To Action Online June 2019

Get the Facts

On June 14, 2019, NBCC submitted a public response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) rule change (Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0134) which is available here. We outlined a number of our concerns specifically regarding to FDA’s proposed rule change around the breast density notification and why it’s a bad idea. Read about it here.

2020 Advocate Leadership Summit – We’re Moving Back to DC

Save the date for next year’s annual Advocate Leadership Summit! It will be held May 2-4, 2020. Lobby Day will follow on May 5. We are also excited to announce that the Summit will be moving back to Washington, DC after several years in Northern Virginia. It will be held at the Park Hyatt Hotel in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

Registration will open in October, so keep an eye out for further details. We hope to see you there!

Public Policy: Take Action!

2019 Legislative Priority #2, Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act: 

legislation that would waive the 24 month waiting period for Medicare eligibility and the 5 month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for individuals with metastatic breast cancer who qualify for social security disability.

House
On Tuesday, April 9th, Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) re-introduced the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, H.R. 2178. A Dear Colleague has been circulated asking House members to cosponsor the bill for the 116th Congress. 91 Representatives have cosponsored the bill to date. If your Representative is not on the list, please contact them and ask them to sign on as a cosponsor of H.R. 2178 today!

Have your Representatives contact Deena Tauster in Representative King’s office at deena.tauster@mail.house.gov or Elizabeth Brown in Representative Castor's office at elizabeth.brown@mail.house.gov to sign on.

Senate
On Wednesday, May 8, Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, S. 1374 in the Senate. A Dear Colleague has been circulated asking Senators to cosponsor the bill and currently there are 5 cosponsors. Contact your Senators and ask them to sign on as a cosponsor of S. 1374 today! 

Have your Senators contact Emily Crow in Senator McSally’s office at emily_crow@mcsally.senate.gov or Elizabeth Darnall in Senator Murphy’s office at elizabeth_darnall@murphy.senate.gov to sign on.

Remember to let
NBCC know if your Member has agreed to sign on so we can keep a running record as well.

As always, thank you for your important advocacy on behalf of the National Breast Cancer Coalition!

Share your Stories

NBCC believes that quality care must be accessible to everyone. Making certain all those with metastatic disease have access is an important and major step. Your help is critical in making this happen. If you or a family member have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, we want to hear from you about how waiving Medicare waiting periods would affect you and your family. Stories from advocates like you will advance this important legislative priority. Please send your story to MyStory@breastcancerdeadline2020.org


Science Spotlight2

A Real Breakthrough? CDK 4/6 Inhibitors In Advanced/Metastatic HR+/HER2- Breast Cancer

NBCC has always pushed for access to quality, evidence based health care.  Women and men with breast cancer should be able to make health care decisions based upon the highest possible quality of evidence. They need interventions, including drugs, which work.  And by work we mean save lives. Too often drugs for breast cancer are approved on “surrogate endpoints” and not overall survival.  We need well-designed clinical trials that use the most valid and meaningful outcome measures that matter to patients.

One recent example of such a trial appears to be MONALEESA-7—a study of the efficacy and safety of CDK 4/6 inhibitors in premenopausal women with hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced breast cancer. Stemming from early DoD-funded research by Dr. Dennis Slamon, CDK 4/6 inhibitors in HR+ breast cancer have been one of few significant advances in the treatment of breast cancer since the seminal discovery of Herceptin for HER2+ breast cancer in the 1980s and 90s. Also supported by the DOD program. And remember: NBCCC brought about the DOD research program.

Interim results of MONALEESA-7, specifically on overall survival, were presented by Dr. Sara Hurvitz at ASCO 2019 and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 2.[1] Notably, this is the first study of CDK4/6 inhibitors in the metastatic/advanced disease setting to demonstrate improvements in overall survival among premenopausal women.

MONALEESA-7 was an international, randomized, double-blind phase III trial that enrolled a total of 672 women. The intervention being tested was the addition of ribociclib (one of three, currently FDA-approved, CDK4/6 inhibitors) to standard-of-care endocrine therapy, compared to standard-of-care endocrine therapy alone plus placebo (control group).

For this trial, the observed overall survival at 42 months was 70.2 percent in the ribociclib group compared with 46.0 percent in the control group, representing a 29 percent lower risk of death with ribociclib. Median survival (the point at which half of the patients were still alive) in the control group was 40.9 months. In the ribociclib group, median survival had not yet been reached at 42 months, the time of the analysis.

What does this mean for women with advanced breast cancer?  While these findings are specific to individuals with HR+/HER2- breast cancer, they mark an encouraging, if not significant, advance for breast cancer patients and a change to the standard of care in the advanced/metastatic setting, that may actually make a real difference.


[1] Im SA, Lu YS, Bardia A, et al. Overall Survival with Ribociclib plus Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2019 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print on June 2]

NBCC in the News

Curing cancer has become a platform issue for candidates and incumbents. Recently, STAT reported on Joe Biden and Donald Trump's pledges to do just that. NBCC President, Fran Visco, was quoted in the article, responding to these promises,  “Just giving more money to people who are going to do what they’re already doing is not going to solve the problem,” Visco said. NBCC has asked the Presidential candidates to endorse its platform and support our public policy agenda. The Breast Cancer Caucus website will launch soon, with information on which candidates have signed on and with actions you can take to make certain breast cancer is at the forefront of the agenda.

Community Fundraising Corner

NBCC would like to give a special shout-out to CARE Advocates Network for hosting its 5th annual Breast Cancer Is Going Down golf tournament to benefit NBCC’s work on June 18, 2019.

This annual golfing event—spearheaded by long time NBCC advocate Sue Weber—has generated nearly $40,000 dollars for NBCC.
 

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Les Girls - October 20, 2019 - Avalon Hollywood - California

Please join us in celebrating the 19th annual Les Girls Cabaret on Sunday, October 20, 2019, at the Avalon Hollywood. This year we are honoring Cindy Harrell-Horn. The event will continue our tradition of a witty and fun evening with plenty of song and dance, to raise funds for NBCC. Further information and a reservation form can be found here.

New York Gala - October 28, 2019 - The Pierre - New York

Join us on Monday, October 28th for the 24th Annual New York Gala. This annual fundraising event should not be missed. Find out further details or RSVP here.

For Project LEAD Grads: Upcoming LEAD Cast Webinar – “SpecifiCancer – Understanding Why Cancer Grows in Some Tissues and Not Others”

Project LEAD Grads, mark your calendars! On August 7 at 1pm ET, Dr. Karen Cichowski, Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, will present an exclusive webinar on the SpecifiCancer project. This research, led by Dr. Stephen Elledge, was funded under the Grand Challenge by Cancer Research UK (CRUK). It examines the question of which drivers cause cancer in different parts of the body, and aims to create a comprehensive map of the data. Dr. Cichowski will discuss the details of the project, its status, and what it means for breast cancer research.

Details on when and how to register will be coming soon. Stay tuned!