The metastatic breast cancer (mBC) project offers a new approach to cancer research. It connects researchers directly with patients. Patients share their tumor samples and clinical information to create a huge database of genomic and molecular information, to help accelerate important research discoveries. Participating is a way to help yourself and others. Find out more.

Who is running this study?

This project, launched and funded by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, is being conducted in collaboration with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 

Who are the participants?

They are looking for metastatic breast cancer (mBC) patients in the US and Canada to participate in the study. In the future, they want to expand to include participants worldwide. 

What does the study involve?

A participant can express interest in the study online by clicking on the “Count me in” button on the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project website.

This leads to an online form where you enter some information about yourself and your cancer.

There is also an online consent form to complete, which gives permission for the researchers to obtain copies of your medical records and some of your stored tumor tissue sample. No extra biopsies are needed. They will contact your doctor/hospital on your behalf. 

The participant will then receive a saliva collection kit in the mail. You simply spit into the tube and return it in the box provided.

That’s it. 

Keep informed

The researchers will use your samples to perform genomic analysis on both the tumor and saliva samples. Data will be protected and confidential.

The genomic and medical information will create a database for use by the cancer research community to help understand mBC and develop new therapies. 

You won’t get your individual genome results back, however, as the research laboratory is not permitted to give personal genetic data back to you. 

They will keep you informed of what they are learning from the project and any discoveries that your participation is enabling. 

Are there costs associated with participation?

There are no costs associated with this study for participants.

What if I need some tumor sample for something else?

The sample provided for the study will only be a portion of your stored tissue sample from the hospital/doctors. This means there will still be an adequate sample at the hospital for other testing, as may be necessary.

More information

For more information, take a look at MBCproject blog.  

If you want to discuss this project with your doctor, here is a sheet that you can print off and take with you to discuss. MBCproject Physician’s information sheet

So much information can be gained from databases like this research will create. If you have mBC, participation in this is an excellent way to contribute to your own and other people’s outcome. If you know someone with mBC, please forward this information to them. Let’s learn from each other, and speed up the research process. 

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