ESO-ESMO 2nd international consensus guidelines for advanced breast cancer (ABC2)

“Advanced breast cancer (ABC) is a treatable but still generally incurable disease. The goals of care are to optimize both length and quality of life. Due to continuous research, several advances have been made, particularly for the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2)-positive and for luminal-like subtypes. Notwithstanding these advances, median overall survival of patients with ABC is still only 2–3 years, although the range is wide [1–5], and survival may be longer for patients treated in specialized institutions [6]. Implementation of current knowledge is highly variable among countries and within each country.

The use of treatment guidelines has been associated with a significant improvement in survival [7–9]. This has been achieved mainly in early breast cancer. For ABC, and particularly metastatic breast cancer (MBC), less level 1 evidence exists and only recently has international consensus guidelines been developed (ABC1) [10]. The ABC Consensus Conference was created by the European School of Oncology (ESO) with the ambitious goal of improving outcomes for all patients with ABC. Backed by strong political advocacy, ABC guidelines are seeking to improve standards of care, to raise awareness about how to best meet to the needs of this underserved group of patients, and to identify research priorities, so that clinical research is focused on the most important areas of unmet need.

Following the work of the ESO-ABC Task Force [11–14], created in 2005, and the successful undertaking of the 1st International Consensus Guidelines Conference on ABC (ABC1), held in November 2011, the 2nd International Consensus Conference for Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC2) took place in Lisbon, Portugal, on 7–9 November 2013. The conference brought together about 1100 participants from 71 countries, including health professionals, patient advocates, and journalists. A series of guidelines were discussed and agreed upon, based on the most up-to-date evidence, and can be used to guide treatment decision-making in diverse health-care settings globally. These guidelines are developed as a joint effort from ESO and ESMO (European Society of Medical Oncology), are endorsed by EUSOMA (European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists), SIS (Senologic International Society), and Flam (Federación Latino Americana de Mastologia), and organized under the auspices of UICC (Union Internationale Contre Le Cancer), OECI (Organization of European Cancer Institutes), and the BCRF (Breast Cancer Research Foundation).                   


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