Partnership with bioTheranostics Aims to Encourage Breast Cancer Survivors to Learn How to Work With Their Doctor to Personalize Their Breast Cancer Journey
Campaign Supports Survivors with $10,000 Donation to Breastcancer.org
SAN DIEGO, CA, January 13, 2016 – Olympic gold-medalist and breast cancer survivor, Dorothy Hamill has partnered with bioTheranostics to launch BeWisER+ About Breast Cancer (www.bewiseraboutbreastcancer.org), an educational campaign designed to help breast cancer survivors who are on anti-estrogen therapy learn more about treatment related side effects, ongoing risk of relapse, and information and tools to help personalize a treatment plan.
“My journey for the gold 40 years ago was — at the time —the most challenging time in my life. But when I was diagnosed with breast cancer many years later, I was faced with an even greater challenge,” said Hamill. “Today, I’m a breast cancer survivor, but there are still challenges. I worry about the long- term risks of the medication I have to take for 5 or 10 years, and if it’s really helping. That’s why the BeWisER+ About Breast Cancer campaign is so important. It encourages women who are breast cancer survivors like me to understand that wisdom is power in the fight against breast cancer and that working closely with their doctor when making treatment decisions is the best way to take control of their breast cancer journey.”
Five years of anti-estrogen therapy is the accepted standard of care to prevent recurrence of breast cancer for ER+ patients. ER+ breast cancer is the most common form of the disease accounting for 80% of new cases. 1 But in recent years, clinical studies have shown a limited number of patients (~3-5%) may benefit from an additional five years of treatment. As a result, extending therapy to ten years is increasingly chosen by doctors for many women. However, these treatments are often associated with tolerability challenges that can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life. These may include muscle pain, hot flashes and sexual dysfunction, as well as less frequent but serious safety issues such as osteoporosis, bone fractures, endometrial cancer and heart disease.2 Further insight into which women are most likely to benefit from additional therapy and who may avoid another five years of treatment is an important clinical unmet need.3-7
“As a physician, my primary focus is to treat the patient and prevent the cancer from coming back so I use whatever tools I have – including extending therapy to ten years – to keep my patients cancer-free,” said Elyse Lower, MD a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.
“But there’s no one-size-fits-all answer and because these treatments have such a significant impact on my patients’ lives with evidence showing benefit for only 3-5% of patients, I welcome any new information that will help me better individualize the treatment journey for these women.”
Be WisER+ About Breast Cancer is a national campaign that aims to educate and offer support to breast cancer survivors so that they are informed about their options and can drive discussions with their doctors about potential tests that may help them better assess how or if they will benefit from anti- estrogen treatment beyond five years. The campaign, sponsored by cancer diagnostics company bioTheranostics, includes a campaign website (www.bewiseraboutbreastcancer.org) where survivors can learn more about life after breast cancer. As a part of the campaign, bioTheranostics will donate $1 to Breastcancer.org for every website click, or social media post, retweet, comment, or like on the campaign’s social media properties on Twitter (@BeWisERAboutBC) and Facebook (BeWiser+ About BC).
“We are excited to be partnering with Dorothy Hamill on this campaign to reach women like her who are living with a diagnosis of ER+ positive breast cancer,” said Nicolas Barthelemy, president and CEO of bioTheranostics. “There have been incredible advancements in the treatment of cancer. And we now know that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment approach. At bioTheranostics, our mission is to develop tools that will help physicians work with their patients on individualized treatment plans.”
About Dorothy Hamill
Dorothy Hamill is a gold medal-winning Olympic figure skater. In 1976, Hamill won the gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Austria. Shortly after, she earned the World Championship title in Sweden. Hamill has been inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. In 2007, she was diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer. This year she is celebrating several milestones including the 40th anniversary of her gold medal win, her 60th birthday and eight-years cancer-free.
bioTheranostics, Inc., is a leader in helping physicians improve the care of cancer patients, offering a suite of proprietary molecular diagnostic tests that allow treatment to be tailored to individual patients. The company’s Breast Cancer IndexSM helps oncologists make difficult decisions about extended endocrine therapy for ER+ breast cancer patients based on its unique ability to predict risk of late disease recurrence and identify which patients are likely to benefit from continuing therapy beyond five years. Its CancerTYPE ID® is the most rigorously validated gene expression test for metastatic patients with diagnostic ambiguity, helping physicians determine optimal site-directed treatment regimens with the goal of improving patient outcomes. bioTheranostics is based in San Diego. For more information, visit www.biotheranostics.com or www.AnswersBeyond5.com. Follow Breast Cancer Index on Twitter at @AnswersByond5.
Breastcancer.org is a patient-centric resource for breast health and breast cancer information and support. We engage, educate, and empower women with our expert information and dynamic peer support community to help them make the best decisions for their lives. The nonprofit organization was founded by breast oncologist Marisa C. Weiss, M.D., and born out of her conviction that women with breast cancer need more information and support than a physician visit can provide. Breastcancer.org receives more than 23 million visits each year.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.