The "Win-Win" initiative: A global, scientifically based approach to resource sparing treatment for systemic breast cancer therapy

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Background: Worldwide, breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy among females. Its incidence shows a trend towards an increase in the next decade, particularly in developing countries where less than of 5% of resources for cancer management are available. In most breast cancer cases systemic cancer treatment remains a primary management strategy. With the increasing costs of novel drugs, amidst the growing breast cancer rate, it can be safely assumed that in the next decade, newly developed cancer drugs will become less affordable and therefore will be available to fewer patients in low and middle income countries. In light of this potentially tragic situation, a pressing need emerges for science-based innovative solutions. Methods: In this article, we cite examples of recently published researches and case management approaches that have been shown to lower overall treatment costs without compromising patient outcomes. The cited approaches are not presented as wholly inclusive or definitive solutions but are offered as effective examples that we hope will inspire the development of additional evidence-based management approaches that provide both efficient and effective breast cancer treatment Results: We propose a "win-win" initiative, borne in the year of 2008 of strategic information sharing through preparatory communications, publications and our conference presentations. In the year 2009, ideas developed through these mechanisms can be refined through focused small pilot meetings with interested stakeholders, including the clinical, patient advocate, and pharmaceutical communities, and as appropriate (as proposed plans emerge), governmental representatives. The objective is to draw a realistic road map for feasible and innovative scientific strategies and collaborative actions that could lead to resource sparing; i.e. cost effective and tailored breast cancer systemic treatment for low and middle income countries. Conclusion: The intended result would assure sustained affordability and accessibility in breast cancer systemic therapy for patients in low and middle income countries. As an added benefit, the example of breast cancer could be expanded to include other cancers in diverse settings around the world. © 2009 Elzawawy; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Elzawawy, A. (2009). The “Win-Win” initiative: A global, scientifically based approach to resource sparing treatment for systemic breast cancer therapy. World Journal of Surgical Oncology, 7.

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