Inclusion by design recommendations presented at international breast cancer conference

1 December 2023

In November 2023, Senior Researcher Helena Wilcox presented a poster highlighting recommendations from the HPP policy report, Inclusion by design: building equity in clinical trials through the lens of metastatic breast cancer. The poster was presented in Lisbon, Portugal at the Advanced Breast Cancer Seventh (ABC7) International Consensus Conference, hosted by the ABC Global Alliance.

Held every two years, the conference presents the opportunity for the global breast cancer community to convene, share best practice and inform on the latest scientific updates in care of advanced breast cancer. In bringing together clinicians, researchers and patient representatives, the conference also generates updates to the ABC Guidelines – international, consensus guidelines that can be used to guide clinical decision-making on advanced breast cancer across healthcare settings.

Dr Fatima Cardoso, Chair of ABC Global Alliance and contributor to the Inclusion by design report, opened the conference by highlighting the unique role the ABC Global Alliance has in advancing improvements for people with advanced breast cancer. Dr Cardoso reflected on the past year of activity, which has held a particular focus on people with advanced breast cancer who also have complex needs.

Many contributors to the Inclusion by design attended the conference and chaired several sessions. These included discussions on the pivotal role that clinical trials have for people with metastatic breast cancer, and the advancements clinical trials have facilitated in both outcomes and survival from the disease.

Inclusion by design and its accompanying poster highlighted the essential role that clinical trials provide in developing and providing access to new therapies. The findings emphasise the importance and opportunities for clinical trials to be more equitable, diverse and inclusive in where they take place and who is able to participate. This is particularly relevant for a condition such as metastatic breast cancer, where improvements are urgently needed; there are currently limited effective treatments for metastatic breast cancer (and none that are curative), as well as measurable disparities in experiences and outcomes.

The 16 actionable recommendations made in the Inclusion by design report are targeted to regulators, trial sponsors, and those designing and conducting clinical trials. The ABC7 conference was a fantastic opportunity to share these recommendations more broadly and discuss how the report can be used by the advocacy community. We look forward to continuing to engage with the breast and wider cancer communities to collectively address inequities in clinical trials as a key contributor to realising more equitable health outcomes.