Addressing disparities and challenges in underserved patient populations with metastatic breast cancer in Europe

Eduard Vrdoljak, Joseph Gligorov, Lieve Wierinck, Pier Franco Conte, Jacques De Grève, Françoise Meunier, Carlo Palmieri, Luzia Travado, Andrew Walker, Theresa Wiseman, Rachel Wuerstlein, Emilio Alba, Concepción Biurrún, Rosanna D'Antona, Oriol Sola-Morales, Catherine Ubaysi, Roberta Ventura, Fatima Cardoso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


People with metastatic breast cancer face many challenges and disparities in obtaining optimal cancer care. These challenges are accentuated in underserved patient populations across Europe, who are less likely to receive quality healthcare for reasons including socioeconomic inequalities, educational or cultural status, or geographic location. While there are many local and national initiatives targeted to address these challenges, there remains a need to reduce disparities and improve access to healthcare to improve outcomes, with a focus on multidisciplinary stakeholder engagement. In October 2019, a range of experts in metastatic breast cancer, including healthcare professionals, patient representatives, policymakers and politicians, met to discuss and prioritize the critical needs of underserved patient populations with metastatic breast cancer in Europe. Six key challenges faced by these communities were identified: the need for amplification of the metastatic breast cancer patient voice, better and wider implementation of high-quality guidelines for metastatic breast cancer, more collaboration between stakeholders, tailored support for patients from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, improved data sharing, and work-related issues. The Expert Panel then conceived and discussed potential actionable goals to address each key challenge. Their conclusions present a set of interrelated approaches to address the different challenges and could serve as the basis for concerted improvement of the lives of patients with metastatic breast cancer in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
Early online dateDec 13 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Cancer care disparities
  • Challenges
  • Europe
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Oncology
  • Underserved patient population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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