Each season, volleyball programs worldwide come together as a sport by building Dig Pink® experiences in their community in support of a common goal. Through Side-Out, these players, coaches, families, and fans are responsible for funding a first-of-its-kind clinical trial that is impacting stage IV breast cancer and providing options that look to give more time to those living with stage IV.



The Side-Out Protocol wraps up Phase III in the summer of 2020, and results will then be analyzed and the findings will be published. Visit our research page to learn more about the different Phases of The Side-Out Protocol.

2019 Accomplishments

From a research perspective, we accomplished three main goals in 2019.

Side-Out Phase 3 Trial Update

We completed patients’ enrollment of the Side-Out 3 trial and started processing the biological samples collected for what we call the ‘biomarker analysis’. The main goal of this work is to find answers to key questions oncologists have to face in their daily work with metastatic breast cancer patients, such as: “Why do some metastatic breast cancer patients respond well to initial treatments, while others don’t?” and “How can I predict which patients will benefit from the selected treatment?”

To answer these questions, we have assembled a unique team including oncologists from ten universities, research centers, and community-based cancer centers across the country. Additionally, two laboratories where cutting-edge technologies are routinely used to dissect the molecular mechanisms that drive individual tumors and response to treatment are a part of the team. While the analysis of the clinical samples is still ongoing and will be completed in 2020, we expect our work to provide novel understanding on tumors’ behaviors and to identify biological molecules or biomarkers that can help oncologists select more effective treatment for each patient.

Side-Out Phase 2 Trial Results

2019 has also been a key year for completing data cleaning and analyses of the Side-Out 2 trial. This trial builds upon our previous work and represents a unique scientific effort to provide precision medicine to metastatic breast cancer patients through the use of innovative technologies. In this multi-centric trial, we tested whether:

  1. new molecular technologies can help physicians in their decision-making process on how metastatic breast cancer patients can be treated;

  2. our vision for treating metastatic breast cancer can reach patients across the country including those treated in community-based cancer centers;

  3. the precision medicine approach we envision benefits metastatic breast cancer patients.

While we can say that the trial provided positive answers to all our questions, we hopefully will soon be able to share the results of our work with the scientific community through a peer-review publication which is currently under evaluation.

MBC Biomarker Portal Update

Finally, this year we worked on implementing and growing our metastatic breast cancer portal which is now available at https://mbcportal.org. We strongly believe that sharing our science will make our effort to find better cures of metastatic breast cancer patients a reality sooner. To promote dissemination of our work and findings, we built an innovative database where all information collected and generated by our research efforts are safely stored and made available to the scientific community.

This database, a joint effort between the Side-out Foundation and the Colleges of Science and Health and Human services at George Mason University, can be accessed by the scientists, physicians, and patients. We envision this database to become a sandbox for generating and validating novel hypotheses, for designing future research studies, and for providing new answers on how to prevent or treat metastatic breast cancers more effectively.

2019 Trial Locations

2019-2020 GRANTS

Teams who support The Side-Out Foundation’s Programs are provided the opportunity to support an organization in their community through Side-Out’s Give-Back Program. Organizations selected for grants must be patient services organizations and are granted a percentage of funds raised through the team’s Dig Pink® experience. This program give teams the chance to not only impact stage IV breast cancer research through Side-Out, but help those close to home with other needs. See the organizations below that were awarded a give-back grant in 2019-2020.