BIG – Breast International Group is the largest global network composed of groups working with academic research
The history of Institute Projeto Cura and BIG started in 2012, during an international scientific event – the Interamerican of Breast Cancer held in Cancun, when our president Fernanda Schwyter met Professor Dr. Martine Piccart – president and co- founder of Breast International Group. During such meeting, the idea of Instituto Projeto Cura was conceived, with the mission of raising awareness in Latin America about the importance of international collaborative research.
Some years later, in 2014, in Porto Alegre, while Cura was still being conceived, our president planned and coordinated a meeting of Dr. Piccart with Latin American investigators, the “BIG Latin American Groups Retreat”, an event held in Porto Alegre with LACOG support.
After such event, in that same year, Fernanda was invited for a one-week visit to BIG to get acquainted with techniques applied to Fund Raising and design of campaigns to raise awareness about research. Such know-how was essential for the development of Cura and it is being strengthened with the mutual institutional support!
To celebrate this moment we interviewed the team of that institution and brought their vision about the Instituto Projeto Cura and the importance of a philanthropy-driven culture and clinical research.
What’s the importance of research for the improvement of cancer treatment ?
Research is the only way to improve cancer treatments – to make them more effective, reduce their side effects, and adapt them to individual patients’ needs. This is because research is the only way we can understand the biology of any specific form of cancer in order to determine the best possible way to treat it. Without research, we will not be able to cure cancer nor end the great suffering and death of millions of people every year.
What’s the biggest challenge for researchers to develop research? One of the biggest challenges, especially for academic researchers, is to secure funding to carry out their research. But to do this, the general public and potential donors need to understand why research is important and how research can improve and save lives.
Why engage in campaigns for research important ?
They serve to inform the general public, and everyone who can potentially play a role in supporting research. Campaigns can explain the importance of research, dispel myths about research, and show concretely how research leads to improved treatments and cures for diseases such as cancer..
What’s the direct and indirect benefit for the patients?
Research leads to new treatments, which can extend patients’ lives and improve quality of life; it also leads to cures. Indirectly, research reduces human suffering and, by improving people’s health, also reduces the burden on healthcare systems.
What’s the importance of Projeto CURA in this scenario?
Projeto CURA plays a critical role in bringing people together to help raise awareness about cancer in Latin America and in explaining the essential role played by research and global collaboration to address the cancer problem. CURA also raises essential funds for research. Without this, research cannot advance, progress cannot be made, and lives will continue to be lost because of cancer..
What’s the importance of Projeto CURA for the accomplishments of BIG?
Projeto CURA contributes to the success and strength of BIG’s member groups based in Latin America, in particular LACOG (Latin American Cooperative Oncology Group). This way, LACOG can continue to develop important breast cancer studies to be conducted within Brazil, Latin America and beyond, and its investigators can share their expertise and experience in Latin America. This contributes to making BIG’s global studies more relevant to patients wherever they are in the world.
How can we count on BIG in the development of a culture of philanthropy in favor of research in Latin America?
The vision of the Breast International Group (BIG) is to find cures for breast cancer by facilitating collaboration between its academic member research groups located around the world. Its core business to develop and run breast cancer clinical trials and research programms that answer questions important to patients. To help raise funds for BIG studies that are under-resourced, BIG established its own philanthropic team called “BIG against breast cancer”. This team, and leadership at BIG Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, is available to advise LACOG and Projeto CURA in its philanthropic endeavors.
Breast International Group is a non-for-profit organization that represents the largest global network composed of groups working with academic research dedicated to find better treatment and cures for breast cancer, with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Such long-term interaction has now been transformed into an official partnership where BIG supports Cura on an institutional basis!