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July 26, 2021 – Today, Pfizer Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer are excited to announce the recipients of nearly $270,000 in grants for the implementation of innovative strategies aimed at measurably improving the quality of care of people living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

Guided by the unique and unmet needs identified by MBC patients and their families, Pfizer Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer have committed to funding the following proposals:

  • St Mary’s Research Centre: There are many experiences affecting women with MBC that impact their ability to manage their care or capacity to plan for the future. The systematic screening of patients’ symptoms and the challenges they face, also referred to as patient-reported outcomes or PROs, is a cornerstone of high-quality cancer care and can serve as a tool to improve patients’ lives. The goal of this program is to implement an electronic patient-reported outcome symptom screening and management program for better tailored treatment and care of women with metastatic breast cancer.

  • Tom Baker Cancer Centre: Despite the growth in the number of MBC patients and efforts to increase disease awareness, significant gaps exist in patients’ ability to access factual, curated evidenced-based information. This program will create and deliver an evidenced-based forum of MBC-related topics to patients living with and undergoing treatment for MBC by experts in the field of breast oncology. The goal of the program is to empower patients in the shared decision-making process related to their care.

  • BC Cancer Vancouver: Older patients have unique needs and there is a general lack of specialized services to address them. The group at BC Cancer are building a program to improve the quality of care for older people living with metastatic breast cancer. To this end, a dedicated nurse navigator will work with patients, caregivers and health care professionals in order to match patients with resources that best meet their needs. The project will examine if this intervention improves the quality of life of elderly patients and their caregivers.

Grant recipients were determined by a joint review panel comprised of Pfizer Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer representatives and metastatic breast cancer experts (patients and medical experts). Areas of interest identified within the original request for proposals (RFP) issued in February 2021 were determined with patients and for patients, through collaboration and input of the Rethink Breast Cancer team and MBC Advisory Board, and inspired by the James Lind Alliance top 10 research priorities for MBC.

“The programs funded by these grants are so important for the MBC community and are an important component of our ongoing work,” says Nathalie Baudais, MBC thriver, cancer research advocate, and co-chair of Rethink’s Metastatic Advisory Board. “We know the value of engaging patients and their caregivers in their health and decision-making, and we look forward to seeing how this can be further encouraged and implemented.” 

“We’re proud of our long-standing commitment to the breast cancer community and to support three important projects to improve the quality of care of Canadians living with metastatic breast cancer,” says Andrew Brown, Medical Director, Oncology; Pfizer Canada. “Our collaboration with Rethink Breast Cancer and the participation of members of their MBC Advisory Board added value to the entire process and has given us assurance that the programs we are supporting will truly address the needs of the individuals we are seeking to help.”

“Despite significant advances, metastatic breast cancer remains an incurable disease, and it has a significant impact on all aspects of a person’s life,” says MJ DeCoteau, Executive Director, Rethink Breast Cancer. “This initiative is an important step in continuing to push the status quo and striving to meet the unique needs of the community and improving the lives of all people living with MBC.”

Funded projects are set to begin September 2021 with anticipated completion dates of December 2023.

About Pfizer Canada 

Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or follow on LinkedInFacebookTwitter or YouTube.  

About Rethink Breast Cancer

Rethink Breast Cancer is a charity known for making positive change by rethinking the status quo when it comes to breast cancer. With 20 years’ experience, our mission is to educate, empower and advocate for young people who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer to help them live better and live longer. Within an evidence-based approach, everything we do puts young people with breast cancer firmly at the centre. However, the results of our efforts often improve the experiences of all cancer patients. As a breast cancer movement, we are all about connecting, listening, empowering, and rethinking breast cancer together. Rethink is a nationally focused organization based in Toronto.

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