The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is dedicated to ending breast cancer through the power of grassroots action and advocacy. In 2010, NBCC launched Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® to focus resources and efforts to the areas that will lead to the knowledge needed to end breast cancer. The research component of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® includes the Artemis Project®, an advocate led, innovative, mission driven approach of strategic summits, catalytic workshops, research action plans and collaborative efforts of various stakeholders. The Artemis Project® focuses on two areas:
• Primary Prevention: How do we stop people from getting breast cancer?
• Prevention of Metastasis: How do we stop people from dying of breast cancer?
Artemis Project® participants design and implement research plans and interact through an infrastructure maintained by NBCC that allows collaborations to thrive and progress rapidly. The first Artemis Project, begun in 2011, focused on primary prevention. A five-year, strategic plan for the development of a preventive vaccine has been developed and is being implemented through the Artemis Project® for a Preventive Breast Cancer Vaccine. A research plan is in place, initial seed grants have been awarded to identify vaccine targets and begin pre clinical work, and regular meetings occur to assess progress and readjust plans.
NBCC convened the Summit on Prevention of Metastatic Breast Cancer on August 26-28, 2011, in Aspen, CO, as an initial component of overall efforts to achieve Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. This summit represented the first step in focusing efforts on understanding how to prevent breast cancer metastasis. A thorough analysis of the underlying mechanisms of dormant tumor cells was identified as a key priority in the understanding and prevention of breast cancer metastasis. To catalyze efforts on the causes and prevention of metastasis, NBCC held a meeting June 10-11, 2013, in Walland, Tennessee. NBCC brought together 17 scientists and advocates to plan a project around tumor dormancy as a fundamental approach for preventing metastasis. There was consensus among the diverse meeting participants that there is little known about breast cancer tumor dormancy, but that addressing this gap in knowledge should be a priority within the field. Participants agreed that increased knowledge could lead to an understanding of how to prevent metastasis for significant numbers of women.