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New Movement Aims to Advance Science for Black Breast Cancer

TOUCH BBCA and Breastcancer.org earlier this year announced the launch of When We Tri(al), a movement dedicated to empowering and educating Black women on the importance of clinical trial participation. The movement aims to change the devastating breast cancer mortality rates for Black women, who are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.

Black women are drastically underrepresented in clinical trials; only 3% of clinical trial participants leading to FDA approval of cancer drugs between 2008 and 2018 were Black. The consequences are dire: too many Black women are missing out on access to newly emerging and often life-extending treatments. Until more Black women are included in the research, they will continue to face worse breast cancer outcomes. When We Tri(al) is focused on the urgent need to end these disparities.

“Black breast cancer isn’t about a month, it’s about a movement. When We Tri(al) aspires not only to save Black lives but also educate and motivate clinical trial participation among our Black Breasties,” said Ricki Fairley, CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance.

A group of three multi-ethnic women of mixed ages standing together at a breast cancer awareness event, wearing pink, pointing to the ribbons pinned to their shirts. The youngest, on the right, is a mixed race African-American and Caucasian teenage girl. The mature African-American woman in the middle is in her 50s and her friend is in her 30s.

“The current drugs are not working hard enough for Black women. I’m on a mission to empower our community with the necessary knowledge to advocate for ourselves within a medical system that too often fails us. We must advance the science. Our When We Tri(al) launch will serve as a moment to hear firsthand how clinical trials can change the game for breast cancer and Black women.”

“We must end the disparities in breast cancer care that cost Black women their lives. When We Tri(al) will provide essential tools and information for Black women to confidently take an active role in their care, and seek out clinical trial opportunities that could be life-changing,” said Hope Wohl, CEO of Breastcancer.org. “Breastcancer.org is committed to eliminating barriers to health equity, including coming together with our advocacy partners to improve representation in research. The When We Tri(al) launch is an exciting start to a movement that will lead to crucial change.”

“Advancing inclusive research in breast cancer requires putting the experience and wisdom of Black women at the center of our strategies. That’s why we’re thrilled to support this movement so that Black women can access the cutting-edge healthcare they deserve,” said Rajni Dronamraju, senior director, charitable giving at Genentech.

This unprecedented initiative is made possible by the generous support of Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Seagen, Daiichi-Sankyo, and Eisai.

Touch, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance drives the collaborative efforts of patients, survivors, advocates, advocacy organizations, health care professionals, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies to work collectively, with accountability, towards the common goal of eradicating Black breast cancer. Though there are numerous breast cancer advocacy groups and stakeholders, there is a dire need to bring all patients, survivors, advocates, advocacy organizations, health care professionals, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies together to serve as allies to fight Black breast cancer.

Breastcancer.org is a leading patient-focused resource for breast health and breast cancer education and support. Their mission is to engage and empower people with research, expert information, and a dynamic peer support community to help them make the best decisions for their lives. The nonprofit organization, founded in 2000 by chief medical officer Marisa C. Weiss, M.D., has reached 174 million people worldwide since its inception.

Visit whenwetrial.org to learn more.

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