In an exciting initiative for 2017, Breast Cancer Care and Research Fund (BCCRF) is launching a new program that will focus specifically on metastatic breast cancer. Our first upcoming action is to embed on our website a clinical trial matching tool, specifically designed for metastatic breast cancer patients. Metastatic Trial Search (MTS), a web-based service, was developed by BreastCancerTrials.org in 2015 to help patients and their health care providers easily identify which active and geographically feasible clinical trials could be pertinent to their personal diagnosis. Because there is currently no cure for stage 4 breast cancer, enrollment in a clinical trial is often the best chance for these patients to receive cutting-edge, potentially life-saving treatments. BCCRF is honored to join a growing number of advocacy groups who have all integrated this search engine into their websites.
The beauty of Metastatic Trial Search is its specificity and its user-friendly structure. After inputting your age, zip code, gender, breast cancer subtype and site(s) of metastases, you are presented with a list of trials you could potentially match with, as well as a straightforward summary of each study. Compared to the basic search function on the ClinicalTrials.gov website, MTS narrows down and sifts through the countless studies so that the patient is not overwhelmed by thousands of sometimes irrelevant results, many of which are no longer recruiting, too geographically distant or no longer active.
In the United States, a mere 3% of cancer patients are enrolled in clinical trials and this can be largely attributed to a lack of encouragement or information from their treating physicians. As an advocacy group, one of BCCRF’s goals is to empower patients with knowledge and to help them feel comfortable in asking their doctors important questions regarding their disease, as well as exploring what possible treatments exist beyond the standard of care. The Metastatic Trial Search tool can be an excellent way to start the conversation.