Question: What inspired you to participate in metastatic breast cancer research, and what keeps you motivated in this field?
Answer: In oncology, research in metastatic breast cancer has proven immensely impactful. Many of my patients with metastatic disease are living full lives involving their families, and jobs, with interests and goals outside of their cancer. They can do that because of innovative treatments that lengthen life with a good quality of life.
Question: Can you share a success story or breakthrough in metastatic breast cancer research that has been particularly impactful or promising?
Answer: In estrogen receptor-positive and HER2-positive breast cancer subtypes, average survival is over 5 years, mainly due to the impact of CDK inhibitors and HER2-directed antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates.
Question: How has the funding from events like the METGala SCV contributed to advancements in metastatic breast cancer treatment and patient care?
Answer: Breast cancer research needs to be funded at all levels, from small pilot projects to large Phase III studies of therapies nearing FDA approval. Funds should come from various sources not limited to pharmaceutical companies to ensure a breadth of research topics and innovative thinking.
Question: What challenges do researchers face when working in metastatic breast cancer, and how can our community support their efforts?
Answer: Financial resources are generally scarce, with great competition for projects across the entire breast cancer spectrum, from prevention to treatment of advanced disease. Raising funds directed at metastatic breast cancer research ensures distribution into that space.
Question: How can individuals without scientific backgrounds contribute to raising awareness and supporting metastatic breast cancer research?
Answer: They can partner with scientific researchers. An open exchange of ideas is needed to identify areas most in need and formulate a plan to address those unmet needs.
Question: What are the current gaps or unmet needs in metastatic breast cancer research, and how can events like ours help address them?
Answer: By bringing together patients, advocates, researchers, and the community at large to raise funds specifically for metastatic breast cancer and for pilot projects that may otherwise go unfunded.
Question: How can we bridge the gap between research advancements and access to innovative patient treatments?
Answer: Advocating for fast-track FDA drug approvals and funding patient support programs.
Question: Looking to the future, what are the most promising areas of research that could bring us closer to finding a cure for metastatic breast cancer?
Answer: Harnessing the body’s immune system to fight cancer.