Better understanding metastatic breast cancer


AURORA, an international academic research programme - to involve 1,000 patients from over 60 hospitals and cancer centres linked to 11 BIG member groups in 12 European countries – has been developed to improve the understanding of metastatic breast cancer.


This programme will address an important unmet medical need in metastatic breast cancer, for which current treatment options are limited and are usually based on the clinical-pathological characteristics of the primary tumour rather than on the characteristics of the tumour once it has spread.

Initial results for the first 381 patients included have identified genomic changes that may be linked with the spread of cancer and increased resistance to standard treatments.


What’s more, researchers estimate that in almost 50% of cases the genomic changes identified could provide oncologists with additional information useful for their patients, such as which ones could be considered for clinical trials.

Over the course of 10 years, some 30,000 blood and tumour samples will be collected from AURORA patients, generating an enormous pool of genomic data.  When combined with clinical data, this represents a valuable resource for future research.

AURORA could therefore open the door to new treatment strategies in the future, contributing to better and longer lives of patients affected by metastatic breast cancer.

AURORA is made possible in part by generous grants from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF), Fondation Cancer (Luxembourg), National Lottery (Belgium), NIF Foundation, Barrie and Deena Webb, Candriam, Fondation Futur 21, Sogerim, Think Pink Belgium (SMART Fund) and many individual donors. AURORA has also been supported by the Fund Friends of BIG, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.