Gilead launches patient hub to 'expose' realities of living with metastatic breast cancer

While many widely available resources for breast cancer patients lump all cases of the disease together, Gilead Sciences is drilling down into the specifics of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in particular.

The Big Pharma has launched a new patient hub that aims to serve as a resource for people with MBC by sharing the stories of other patients and providing information and tools that may help MBC patients better understand the disease and prepare for treatment, which is typically a lifelong process for those with metastatic cases.

The Expose MBC website went live earlier this month—just in time for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) Awareness Day on March 3—and is a collaborative effort between Gilead and a handful of breast cancer-focused nonprofit organizations: Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Project Life, the Chrysalis Initiative and the Young Survival Coalition.

“We created Expose MBC because we’ve learned from the metastatic breast cancer community that they still feel unheard and unseen,” a Gilead spokesperson said in a statement sent to Fierce Pharma. “Early breast cancer stories and positive stories of survivorship can feel overshadowing. And the metastatic TNBC community has few dedicated resources.”

“Expose MBC is a space to get real about life with MBC and TNBC with authentic stories and resources for patients and caregivers during a time that can be overwhelming,” the statement continued.

A video announcing the new campaign leans into the theme of revealing often-unsaid truths about MBC, repeating the phrase “It’s Time”—to “get real” about the disease, to “let the fear and isolation melt away” and to “expose metastatic breast cancer”—in between clips of patients sharing their experiences of living with MBC.

The website goes deeper, with an entire tab devoted to the “real stories” of four women diagnosed with MBC: LaToya, Katja, Esther and Kei. Visitors can choose either to dive into their individual stories, complete with a longer video spotlighting each patient, or to filter clips from the women’s stories by theme.

The latter option includes categories like loss, in which LaToya discusses the mental health impact of living with MBC and Esther reflects on how the flexibility and resilience she learned in the military helps her focus on the things she can do rather than those she can’t. Additional clips are filed under the categories of motivation, identity and community.

Another tab on the Expose MBC site provides information about the disease, with sections devoted to defining MBC, explaining each of its four main subtypes and what a diagnosis entails and touching on how the disease can affect mental and emotional health, too.

Visitors can toggle that page of the site to focus specifically on TNBC, which makes up between 15% and 20% of all breast cancer cases and “has a higher chance of becoming metastatic than other types of breast cancer.”

The site’s final offering is a collection of helpful resources for MBC patients. In addition to a roundup of more than two dozen advocacy organizations for cancer patients, there’s also a list of questions to ask one’s doctor—about the doctor’s experience treating breast cancer and about what a specific diagnosis means, what treatment will look like and what palliative care and emotional support options are available.

To get other conversations going, meanwhile, the site offers a list of questions that may help patients better share the details of their experiences with loved ones, with suggestions like “How have you surprised yourself since your diagnosis?” and “What could make you feel even more supported and loved right now?”