Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC) is a treatable but still generally incurable disease. The goals of care are to optimize both length and quality of life. Due to continuous research, several advances have been made, particularly for the HER-2-positive and for Luminal-like subtypes. Notwithstanding these advances, median overall survival of patients with ABC is still only 2–3 years, although the range is wide , , ,  and , and survival may be longer for patients treated in specialized institutions . Implementation of current knowledge is highly variable among countries and within each country.
The use of treatment guidelines has been associated with a significant improvement in survival ,  and . This has been achieved mainly in early breast cancer. For ABC, and particularly metastatic breast cancer (MBC), less level 1 evidence exists and only recently have international consensus guidelines been developed (ABC1 – . The ABC Consensus Conference was created by the European School of Oncology (ESO) with the ambitious goal of improving outcomes for all patients with advanced breast cancer. Backed by strong political advocacy, ABC guidelines are seeking to improve standards of care, to raise awareness about how to best meet to the needs of this underserved group of patients, and to identify research priorities so that clinical research is focused on the most important areas of unmet need.