4 November 2021

Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencing at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Around 1,000 women in the UK die each month from secondary (metastatic) incurable breast cancer and it is vital that people diagnosed with this life-limiting disease can access potential new treatments through clinical trials, which could offer them precious extra time with their loved ones or help pave the way for new treatments for those diagnosed in the future.

“As such, it is extremely worrying that this survey suggests the majority of people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK have never been asked by their oncologist about joining a clinical trial, and that those who enquired about trials did not always receive a helpful or positive response. For the thousands of patients with limited treatment options, clinical trials have the potential to offer much-needed hope for the future.

“Whilst the pandemic has disrupted and delayed some trials, as research recovers, we must urgently ensure everyone with secondary breast cancer has the opportunity to access available clinical trials. We are calling on the NHS across the UK to commit to and outline a patients’ right to be referred to research, underpinned by appropriate support for patients, clinicians and local systems. Only then can we guarantee that no patients are left behind.

“Anyone who is concerned about breast cancer can get more information by calling Breast Cancer Now’s free Helpline on 0808 800 6000 to talk to one of our expert nurses.”

-ENDS-