Genentech aids fight against metastatic breast cancer

SAN FRANCISCO: Genentech will launch a video wall in October to support people living with metastatic breast cancer, an advanced form of the disease with no cure.

SAN FRANCISCO: Genentech will launch a video wall in October to support people living with metastatic breast cancer, an advanced form of the disease with no cure.

From a survey of 700 people with the disease in 2010, Genentech learned that 60% of respondents want more ways to connect with others and share their stories online. Following the survey results, the pharmaceutical company launched a website, FacesofMBC.org, and a mobile app to help those living with the disease. 

On October 13, National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Genentech will launch a video wall made up of submissions by people with cancer, their caregivers, or support team members. The goal is to show a cohesive community, said Susan Willson, manager of corporate relations at Genentech. 

“One of the things Genentech does is make medicine,” explained Ed Lang, director of product PR at the company, “but after we make the medicine, our responsibility is to care for the whole person. That's where the healthcare communicator can play a key role in addressing some of the challenges that a medicine can't treat.”

In April, Genentech also created a Facebook app, Circle of Support. People with metastatic breast cancer can interact with others going through the same situation and request support, whether it's a ride to the doctor or a date for a movie, said Lang. 

After seeing the success of the website, which includes videos of some survey respondents, as well as the success of the app, Genentech created the video wall concept. Willson said since 2010, the videos have garnered more than 40,000 views, a high number for videos distributed by a pharmaceutical company.

To raise awareness about the video wall, Genentech is leveraging social media channels with the help of Fleishman-Hillard. Fleishman also helped the company kick off a Twitter chat with social media community Mom it Forward in April.  

“The primary goal is to add support and help a group of people who may not relate to your typical pink ribbon survivorship breast cancer campaign,” said Lang. 

The company will also promote the video collection at the Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Network's 6th National Conference on October 13 in Chicago. 

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