Giving hope to those affected
by secondary breast cancer

Research. Support. Education.

500 Secondary Breast Cancer Patients Supported by Patient Trials Advocate Service

13th March 2024 by Clare Cox

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The Make 2nds Count Patient Trials Advocate (PTA) service has so far supported 500 secondary breast cancer patients across the UK, marking a significant milestone and pivotal achievement in advancing patient access to clinical trials.

The PTA service is the first of its kind in the UK, offering fresh hope to patients by connecting them with clinical trials that have the potential to improve outcomes and extend life.

Since its pilot launch in 2021, the PTA service has provided support to over 500 patients, with a remarkable 100% endorsement from those who have experienced the initiative. Furthermore, 95% of patients expressed their willingness to engage in discussions with their clinicians about the possibility of accessing clinical trials. If you are a secondary breast cancer patient who may be interested in clinical trials and the PTA service, please visit our website -

Vivienne Wilson, PTA and Senior Research Nurse, expressed her enthusiasm for the service, stating, "I've been working with Make 2nds Count for over two years now, and I think this service really is one of a kind. I enjoy the opportunity to talk to many secondary breast cancer patients, sharing my knowledge with regards to available trials and guiding them to explore their options."

One such patient is Margaret Irvine, who was diagnosed 8 years ago with secondary (metastatic) breast cancer after an original diagnosis of primary breast cancer 9 years before that. 

Margaret – who is a trained District Nurse and has worked in the community throughout her career -says: “The worst part of being diagnosed was telling my close family - any negative changes are always hard to deal with.

“Finding information is never easy as most of it is very negative or outdated when beginning to research, but I tried my best and the unit I originally attended for treatment was very supportive. As my treatment progressed, I became aware of Make 2nds Count and I started talking to people about the PTA Service.

“Access to the service has given me new hope and support, as well as a new way of opening discussions with my treatment team and allowing myself and others as patients to have more control of the journey we are on. This is the main reason I decided to share my experience with others too.”

Secondary breast cancer, also known as metastatic, advanced, or stage IV breast cancer, claims the lives of 1000 women in the UK each month and is currently affecting 61,000 people, yet it remains a relatively unknown and underrepresented area of research. 

The PTA service, which covers the UK with dedicated nurses based in Edinburgh, the Borders, and the Highlands, provides patients with personalised support and information. Patients undergo an initial one-to-one, hour-long phone consultation with specialist nurses who offer guidance on clinical trials, address queries, and assist in searching for suitable trials. The ultimate goal is to empower patients to discuss clinical trials as a viable part of their treatment pathway.

Walk the Walk charity - organiser of the iconic MoonWalk London and MoonWalk Scotland fundraising events - has recently donated £79,434 to the PTA service to finance the full initiative for the next nine months to a year, demonstrating the collective effort to make a meaningful impact in the lives of secondary breast cancer patients.

Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk the Walk said: “I am really delighted to share the news of the recent grant which Walk the Walk has awarded to Make Seconds Count. This funding will specifically contribute towards the charity’s ground-breaking Patient Trials Advocate Service. This much-needed service is designed to bring together women with breast cancer, who might not otherwise have had access to clinical trials, and for many of whom this is the last resort of treatment. 

By collaborating, charities can make such a huge difference to so many people, and we are incredibly proud to be supporting Make Seconds Count and what they achieve in raising awareness and funding research for secondary breast cancer.

Whilst Walk the Walk supports its own campaigns, grants like this one are very exciting and wonderful to share with Walk the Walk’s fundraisers – I cannot thank these generous and wonderful people enough!

We could not do any of the special work we do without everyone’s help, so sign up now at for The MoonWalk London on Saturday 18 May and join this incredible fun filled ‘Fiesta’ of a night.  A night which brings people together all putting one foot in front of another to reach their own personal goal of walking a Half or Full Marathon through the night, whilst helping others. Come and see for yourself, it really is breath-taking!”

Make 2nds Count is dedicated to continuing its mission, ensuring that every patient with secondary breast cancer has the knowledge and opportunity to explore clinical trials as an integral part of their treatment journey.