Unraveling Metastatic Breast Cancer, with Dr. Martine Piccart

Dr. Martine Piccart talks to us about the power of collaboration in metastatic breast cancer research

Metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from the breast to other sites in the body, is responsible for nearly all breast cancer deaths. Approximately 150,000 men and women are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer each year. Today, BCRF is the largest private funder of this critical area of research.

Dr. Martine Piccart is passionate about metastasis research and the vital role that international collaboration plays in her work. A BCRF investigator since 2004, Dr. Piccart’s research aims to better understand the origins of metastatic breast cancer and how it evolves. Through the Breast International Group (BIG), she oversees the AURORA-EU study, the Belgium-based arm of the Evelyn H. Lauder Founder’s Fund for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research. Named for BCRF’s founder, the Founder’s Fund is a multi-year, international collaboration. In 2019, AURORA-EU presented findings on the molecular differences between metastatic cells and other tumor cells, revealing a new avenue of research including the potential for targeted treatments.

Dr. Piccart is Professor of Oncology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and Director of Medicine at the Institut Jules Bordet. She is also the co-founder and chair of BIG, which unites 55 academic research groups from around the world, running over 30 trials, and developing numerous research programs.

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