GEICAM, benchmark in research on breast cancer

The GEICAM Breast Cancer Research Group strengthens its model of independent and cooperative oncology research, while consolidating itself as a reference group and authorized voice in this disease. This is shown by the data on the main activity of GEICAM, the design and conduct of clinical trials…

The GEICAM Breast Cancer Research Group strengthens its model of independent and cooperative oncology research, while consolidating itself as a reference group and authorized voice in this disease.

This is shown by the data on the main activity of GEICAM, the design and conduct of clinical trials and other studies, either as promoter or collaborator. According to data from the year included in said Report, since its foundation in 1995, it has promoted or participated in 151 clinical studies (in all its phases), national and international epidemiological, observational and translational studies, in which more than 65,500 patients have participated. (22,789 of them in clinical trials). During 2021, despite the successive waves of the pandemic, GEICAM worked on 40 research studies, and 898 patients were included in 16 of them, which were in the recruitment phase.

“Despite the fact that 2021 was also a year marked by Covid, the strengths of the system were revealed, including the commitment of health professionals and the realization that the answers to the questions we are asked can only be found through well-planned, high-quality research that makes it possible to identify advances in pathologies, in our case, in breast cancer, to improve treatment and patient care“, affirms the Group Presidentthe doctor Miguel Martin.

However, he insists that this activity requires a boost: “We have to be able to convey to decision makers, health institutions and public opinion the importance of the impact of academic and independent research on the efficiency of processes and, especially, the social benefit that it entails“, he points out.

Notable scientific activity

The list of works carried out in 2021 indicates the commitment and leadership of GEICAM with research, prevention, training, dissemination and awareness in breast cancer. In addition, it reveals its interest in collaborating with other national and international cooperative research groups, with scientific societies and with patient associations. Their scientific activity is very remarkable: in 2021, they published 25 communications to congresses, 23 of them in international congresses and two communications were presented at the national congress of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM). In relation to publications, in 2021, 16 manuscripts have been published, all of them in international journals. Four of them correspond to studies promoted by GEICAM and the rest to studies of the Group with other promoters.

With regard to medical training, which is one of the Group’s main missions, six training programs were organized during that year (a total of 10 events), based on GEICAM conclusions of 43rd San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS); training on gene expression platforms in the current management of breast cancer; the VII Multidisciplinary Conference on Hereditary Breast Cancer, in collaboration with SOLTI and the Familial and Hereditary Cancer section of SEOM; the 12+1 GEICAM International Symposium; the five sessions on luminal disease and the 14th GEICAM Annual Review of Advances in Breast Cancer (RAGMA21).

The special importance given to the implementation of projects focused on the priority lines of research identified in the Strategic Plan was confirmed in 2021 by the new Board of Directors and by the Working Groups, renewed in July. These groups, which deal with proposals for studies and projects and the monitoring of existing ones, are: luminal disease; HER2+; triple negative disease; preventive treatments, heredofamilial and epidemiology; and TransGEICAM. Among the relevant activities in that year is the signing of the agreement with the Foundation of the Spanish Society of Pathological Anatomy (FSEAP).

As ongoing initiatives of the Group, the Biobancoconstituted as a unit for the management and conservation of quality biological samples and associated information from healthy donors and patients who participate in multicenter clinical trials and other biomedical studies in breast cancer, constituting a tool whose purpose is to increase knowledge of the bases molecular studies, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Also with the aim of promoting research, GEICAM has consolidated the platform NetGEICAMa selected group of research centers associated with the Group that meet the criteria of excellence in conducting clinical trials in early phases and in which nine centers currently participate.

GEICAM and society

One of the Group’s strategic priorities is a closer relationship with patient associations and society in general. This objective materialized in 2021 through the collaboration agreement signed with the Hereditary Breast Ovarian Cancer Association (AMOH)which is added to the rest of the alliances it maintains with other entities that represent patients, such as the Spanish Federation of Breast Cancer (FECMA), the Spanish Group of Cancer Patients (GEPAC)the Male Breast Cancer Association (INVI) o to Metastatic Breast Cancer Association (ACMM).

In the field of dissemination and outreach around this tumor, the Report highlights the digital chronology that was prepared for the 25th anniversary of GEICAM, with the main milestones in pathology research and the Group in these years , as well as the #YoInvestigoTúInvestigas campaign, carried out on the occasion of World Breast Cancer Day.

Also as part of its social commitment and with the objective of communication, since 2005 the organization has the Geisalus Magazine, to contribute to the knowledge of the disease by patients and society as a whole. With this same purpose, in 2021 the podcast platform was born GEICAM T-Speaka new informative channel with simple and rigorous information on breast cancer in audio format, where specialists from the Group present a complete topic in each podcast.