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Home > This Just In > PAF will Focus on Educating Patients on Clinical Trials

PAF Receives Support from the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grant Program: Identify-Amplify-Unify


Patient Advocate Foundation has partnered with The AVON Foundation for Women and Pfizer to educate and advance diversity in clinical trials.

October 28, 2016 – Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), a national nonprofit dedicated to helping patients with serious illness overcome healthcare barriers, has received the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program: Identify-Amplify-Unify for the second consecutive time. A total of 22 nonprofit organizations received grants totaling $1 million in funding to support and educate metastatic breast cancer patients, their caregivers, and their communities. 

The 22 grantee organizations received grants ranging from $25,000 to $75,000, to:

  • Address gaps in services for the metastatic breast cancer community, including medical, psychological, nutritional, complementary and integrative services, support, financial, and legal support.
  • Distribute resources and services available to vulnerable populations, including through telemedicine.
  • Share educational resources with the public focusing on metastatic disease, palliative care, treatment options, clinical trials, access to holistic medication, and complementary medicine.

“There are an estimated 155,000 patients living with metastatic breast cancer but unfortunately much of the healthcare and insurance information in the marketplace is not tailored to their specific needs.  By increasing awareness of options for cutting edge treatment through clinical trials, not only are we helping individual metastatic breast cancer patients, but also helping advance cancer research and treatment techniques for thousands of men and women to come,” Erin Singleton, Chief of Mission Delivery says.  “Last year PAF was able to help supplement the lack of information for patients with accessible guides on disease-specific health care and insurance challenges presented in the form of a publication and webcast. This year we hope to bridge the gap in clinical trials.”

This upcoming grant year will see Patient Advocate Foundation focus on educating patients on the benefits of clinical trials and work to improve the diversity in clinical trials participation for metastatic breast cancer patients. Studies have shown patients with low socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic minorities are among the least likely to participate in clinical trials as a whole. In addition to misperceptions about clinical trials, lack of awareness, fear, the complexity of consent forms, and practical issues such as transportation and time off from work also present practical barriers. Research also finds that income is a precluding factor for many cancer patients. One recent study reported that cancer patients who made less than $50,000 a year were 30 percent less likely to participate in a clinical trial than those with a higher income.

“The Avon-Pfizer Identify-Amplify-Unify grant allows us to expand last year’s efforts surrounding combating common healthcare barriers to sharing valuable clinical trial information and educating those that are in a position to benefit from participation the most, particularly those in vulnerable populations,” Singleton says.

PAF will use the funds to develop materials around clinical trials to reflect new challenges and misconceptions, available alongside last year’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Guide, and distribute directly to patients and healthcare-related entities. The funds will also be used to support clinical trial awareness during patient outreach events. Finally, the PAF case management department will support patient navigation and enrollment in clinical trials as needed.

“By coupling last year’s metastatic breast cancer outreach efforts with this year’s focus on alleviating clinical trial barriers, we hope to improve the lives of patients nationwide. We will continue to advocate for patients by connecting them with the resources they need to make their own healthcare related decisions,” Singleton says.

In 2015, PAF researched and wrote a metastatic breast cancer publication addressing complex health care barriers and made it available online and in print. The free publication and reorder forms were distributed directly to patients and partners including breast cancer specialty stores, hospitals, health centers and even a specialty mastectomy tattoo parlor. Furthermore, PAF hosted a live interactive webcast focusing on common roadblocks and paths to overcome them. Chock-full of supplemental resources, the free webcast remains online for patient, caregiver, and providing viewing.

The Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program was created in June 2014 to support advocacy, academic and other nonprofit organizations that provide information and services to help people with metastatic breast cancer navigate the medical and emotional challenges associated with their disease. To date, the partners have invested $2 million towards this goal. The first class of grantees announced last year helped more than 32,800 individuals through efforts including nutrition counseling, patient navigation, education and complementary care. Nearly 230 caregivers also benefitted from grantee initiatives, and many more families and community members were supported by this work. In addition, some programs included online content, reaching more than 14 million people with information on metastatic breast cancer.

For more information about the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants program, visit www.avon39.org/about/grants/metastatic-breast-cancer-grants-program.

About Pfizer Oncology
Pfizer Oncology is committed to the discovery, investigation and development of innovative treatment options to improve the outlook for cancer patients worldwide. Our strong pipeline of biologics and small molecules, one of the most robust in the industry, is studied with precise focus on identifying and translating the best scientific breakthroughs into clinical application for patients across a wide range of cancers. By working collaboratively with academic institutions, individual researchers, cooperative research groups, governments, and licensing partners, Pfizer Oncology strives to cure or control cancer with breakthrough medicines, to deliver the right drug for each patient at the right time. For more information, please visit www.pfizer.com.

About the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
Since 1992, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has been working to improve breast cancer outcomes and reduce disparities in survival rates. The Crusade’s strategic grant making reflects: a holistic and place-based approach in high-need areas throughout the United States; a commitment to enabling access to medical advances and support services for breast cancer patients, particularly those from vulnerable populations; and a commitment to investing in research on the prevention, diagnostics, and treatment of breast cancer. In the U.S., Avon Breast Cancer Crusade manages the Avon Foundation for Women’s breast cancer programs. The Avon Foundation for Women partners with affiliate Avon Foundations and Avon markets around the world for additional programming. In total, Avon and the Foundation have contributed more than $800 million to breast cancer programs around the world through 2015. To learn more, visit www.avonfoundation.org.

About Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women 
Avon is a global corporate leader in philanthropy focused on causes that matter most to women. Through 2015, Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women have contributed over $1 billion in over 50 countries. Avon’s funding is focused on breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. The company’s global markets sell special products to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and domestic violence, conduct hundreds of events for these causes, and educate women around the world through its global network of nearly six million Avon Representatives.