PfizerPfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has awarded a total of more than $1 million in funding to five leading breast cancer advocacy organizations to support projects focused on metastatic breast cancer (MBC) scientific research and quality-of-life studies. The awards are part of Pfizer's Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told initiative, aimed at uncovering gaps in the public's knowledge of MBC and bringing greater attention to the unique needs and experiences of people living with this disease. The need for greater research funding is among the most pressing the MBC community faces, with only about 7 percent of the total breast cancer investment focused on MBC.(1)

"These awards - which support advocacy-led, metastatic-focused research efforts - are an important addition to the Story Half Told initiative," said Matt Shaulis, regional president, North America, Pfizer Oncology. "They also are aligned with Pfizer’s broader commitment to drive scientific advancement in breast cancer across stages and beyond our walls, building on the more than $35 million we have invested in unique breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer research funding partnerships over the last three years."

"Since the launch of Story Half Told in 2014, we have worked with our partners to bring greater attention to the needs of people with metastatic breast cancer so they are not lost in the broader breast cancer conversation," said Dr. Julia Perkins Smith, North America Medical Affairs lead, Pfizer Oncology. "We are proud to support the meaningful work being done by the advocacy community to help improve the outlook for people living with metastatic disease."

The following five organizations have received supportive funding from Pfizer’s Story Half Told initiative:

  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer Network
  • METAvivor - Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness, Research and Support
  • Susan G. Komen ® - Young Investigators in MBC

"Metastatic breast cancer patients are in great need of treatment advances that will both extend and improve the quality of our lives - and that doesn't come without focused research," said Shirley Mertz, president, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN). "I am pleased not only that MBCN has received this funding from Pfizer to support our research efforts, but that the other four recipient organizations will also be pursuing projects to help further the scientific understanding of metastatic breast cancer and impact the way it is treated."

Metastatic breast cancer, also known as Stage 4 breast cancer, occurs when cancer has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body, including the bones, liver, lungs or brain.(2,3) An estimated 150,000-250,000 women in the U.S. are living with MBC, and face a median survival of three years following diagnosis.(4,5,6,7,8)

In September 2015, Pfizer and leaders in the breast cancer community launched the most recent chapter of the Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told initiative, inspired by the findings from a 2014 public survey in which the majority of Americans surveyed reported they knew little to nothing about MBC.9 This latest chapter focuses on the personal stories of women with MBC as captured through poignant photography. In 2015, five well-known photographers and five women with MBC joined the program, and their stories continue to be featured on and the Story Half Told social media channels (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). In the coming months, the stories of additional women with MBC will be shared through photography and video vignettes that will be released on the website and social channels.

More About Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told
Pfizer launched Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told in October 2014 hand-in-hand with a steering committee of patient advocates, healthcare professionals and subject-matter experts by unveiling research aimed at understanding the societal misperceptions of MBC and gaps in patient-physician dialogue. These results culminated in a public call-to-action to heighten understanding and knowledge of MBC within society as whole and improve patient-physician conversations, both areas that Story Half Told continues to address.

A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted as part of the launch in 2014 revealed:(9)

  • More than 60% of respondents reported they know little to nothing about MBC.
  • Widespread misperceptions exist around the disease, including:
    • 72% incorrectly believed that breast cancer in the advanced stages is curable if diagnosed early.
    • 50% incorrectly believed breast cancer progresses because patients either did not take the right treatment or preventative measures.

About Pfizer Oncology
Pfizer Oncology is committed to the discovery, investigation and development of innovative treatment options to improve the outlook for cancer patients worldwide. Our strong pipeline of biologics and small molecules, one of the most robust in the industry, is studied with precise focus on identifying and translating the best scientific breakthroughs into clinical application for patients across a wide range of cancers. By working collaboratively with academic institutions, individual researchers, cooperative research groups, governments, and licensing partners, Pfizer Oncology strives to cure or control cancer with breakthrough medicines, to deliver the right drug for each patient at the right time.

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world®
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.

1. Hurlbert M., et al. Metastatic breast cancer landscape analysis report. Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance. Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance. 2014. Available at: (link is external). Accessed April 18, 2016.
2. National Cancer Institute. What you need to know about™ breast cancer. (link is external). Updated August 2012. Accessed April 18, 2016.
3. American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer. (link is external). Accessed April 18, 2016.
4. Mayer M, Grober S. Silent voices: women with advanced (metastatic) breast cancer share their needs and preferences for information, support and practical services. Living Beyond Breast Cancer. 2006.
5. Jung SY, Rosenzweig M. Sequential Metastatic Breast Cancer Chemotherapy: Should the Median be the Message? Frontiers in Public Health. 2013;1:49. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2013.00049.
6. Ganz, Patricia. Improving Outcomes for Breast Cancer Survivors: Perspectives on Research Challenges and Opportunities. Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 2015; 10.1007/978-3-319-16366-6
7. MBC Network. Most Common Statistics Cited for MBC. (link is external). Accessed on April 18, 2016.
8. Smith IE, Dowsett M. Aromatase inhibitors in breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2003;348(24):2431-2442.
9. Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY. Breast Cancer Survey, sponsored by Pfizer Oncology. April 2014.