BIG Breast International Group
We will find a cure for breast cancer through global research and collaboration.


BIG and the North American Breast Cancer Group (NABCG) – a network of major US and Canadian-based research groups supported by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) – have been meeting annually and in topic-specific working groups since 2005.



BIG-NABCG Annual meeting 2014, Brussels, Belgium



BIG-NABCG Annual meeting 2014, Brussels, Belgium

Together they identify difficult aspects of breast cancer research, focus on research areas not supported by the pharmaceutical industry, and collaborate to resolve common problems.

Their current focus is metastatic breast cancer. In particular, experts working under the BIG-NABCG umbrella tackle the following issues: development of innovative clinical trial designs in the genomics era, data-sharing in the context of molecular screening programmes and analysis of circulating biomarkers (circulating tumour cells, and circulating tumour DNA).

This collaboration is supported by the generous help of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

For more information about the NABCG visit:

Together, BIG and NABCG strive to improve the care and cure rates of patients with breast cancer through international collaboration.

Joint BIG-NABCG publications

  • “Recommendations for standardized pathological characterization of residual disease for neoadjuvant clinical trials of breast cancer by the BIG-NABCG collaboration” in Annals of Oncology (2015) by Bossuyt V, Provenzano E, Symmans WF, Boughey JC , Coles C, Curigliano G, Dixon JM, Esserman LJ, Fastner G, Kuehn T, Peintinger F, von Minckwitz G, White J, Yang W, Badve S, Denkert C, MacGrogan G, Penault-Llorca F, Viale G, Cameron D.

  • “Standardization of pathologic evaluation and reporting of post-neoadjuvant specimens in clinical trials of breast cancer: Recommendations from an international working group” in Modern Pathology (2015) by Provenzano E, Bossuyt V, Viale G, Cameron D, Badve S, Denkert C, MacGrogan G, Penault-Llorca F, Boughey JC, Curigliano G, Dixon JM, Esserman LJ, Fastner G, Kuehn T, Peintinger F, von Minckwitz G, White J, Yang W, Symmans WF.

  • “Defining Breast Cancer Intrinsic Subtypes by Quantitative Receptor Expression” in The Oncologist (2015) by Cheang MC, Martin M, Nielsen TO, Prat A, Voduc D, Rodriguez-Lescure A, Ruiz A, Chia S, Shepherd L, Ruiz-Borrego M, Calvo L, Alba E, Carrasco E, Caballero R, Tu D, Pritchard KI, Levine MN, Bramwell VH, Parker J, Bernard PS, Ellis MJ, Perou CM, Di Leo A, Carey LA.

  • “An international study to increase concordance in Ki67 scoring” in Modern Pathology (2015) by Polley MY, Leung SC, Gao D, Mastropasqua MG, Zabaglo LA, Bartlett JM, McShane LM, Enos RA, Badve SS, Bane AL, Borgquist S, Fineberg S, Lin MG, Gown AM, Grabau D, Gutierrez C, Hugh JC, Moriya T, Ohi Y, Osborne CK, Penault-Llorca FM, Piper T, Porter PL, Sakatani T, Salgado R, Starczynski J, Lænkholm AV, Viale G, Dowsett M, Hayes DF, Nielsen TO.

  • “An International Ki67 Reproducibility Study” in JNCI (2013) by Polley MC, Leung SCY, McShane LM, Gao D, Hugh JC, Mastropasqua MG, Viale G, Zabaglo LA, Penault-Llorca F, Bartlett JMS, Gown AM, Symmans WF, Piper T, Mehl E, Enos RA, Hayes DF, Dowsett M, Nielsen TO.

  • Perceptions and needs of women with metastatic breast cancer: A focus on clinical trials. Breast. 2013 Jun;22(3):370-3. Epub (2013) Nahleh ZA, Lin NU, Wolff AC, Cardoso F on behalf of the BIG-NABCG collaboration.
  • A common language in neoadjuvant breast cancer clinical trials: proposals for standard definitions and endpoints. Fumagalli D, Bedard PL, Nahleh Z, Michiels S, Sotiriou C, Loi S, Sparano JA, Ellis M, Hylton N, Zujewski JA, Hudis C, Esserman L, Piccart M; BIG-NABCG collaboration. Lancet Oncol. 2012 Jun;13(6):e240-8.
  • "Pregnancy after breast cancer: if you wish, ma'am." in Breast Cancer Res Treat (2011) by Pagani O, Partridge A, Korde L, Badve S, Bartlett J, Albain K, Gelber R, Goldhirsch A; Breast International Group; North American Breast Cancer Group Endocrine Working Group.
  • "Assessment of Ki67 in Breast Cancer: Recommendations from the International Ki67 in Breast Cancer Working Group in JNCI (2011) by Dowsett M, Nielsen TO, A’Hern R, Bartlett J, Coombes RC, Cuzick J, Ellis M, Henry NL, Hugh JC, Lively T, McShane L, Paik S, Penault-Llorca F, Prudkin L, Regan M, Salter J, Sotiriou C, Smith IE, Viale G, Zujewski JA, Hayes DF.
  • "Proposals for uniform collection of biospecimens from neoadjuvant breast cancer clinical trials: timing and specimen types" in the Lancet Oncology (2011) by Loi S, Symmans WF, Bartlett J, Fumagalli D, Van't Veer L, Forbes JF, et al.

  • "Recommendations for collection and handling of specimens from group breast cancer clinical trials, from onsite collection through shipping to the central bank" in JCO (2008) by Leyland‐Jones BR, Ambrosone CB, Bartlett JMS, Ellis MJC, Enos RA, Raji A, Pins MR, Zujewski JA, Hewitt SM, Forbes JF, Abramovitz M, Braga S, Cardoso F, Harbeck N, Denkert C, Jewell SD.

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