San Antonio Breast Cancer Research Symposium

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, now in its 33rd year, is the largest annual symposium in the world devoted to breast cancer research and physician education. The international gathering focuses on “interaction and exchange among basic scientists and clinicians in breast cancer.” The 2010 Breast Cancer Symposium started on Wednesday (Dec. 8, 2010) and will continue through the weekend. The more than 8,000 researchers, health care professionals and advocates in attendance will present and discuss a wide spectrum of breast cancer research. Here are some reports from the meetings:

Cure Magazine has daily coverage of the symposium, with features, videos, briefs and blog posts from experts and laypersons from a variety of backgrounds. Advocate and author, Musa Mayer, prepared a final report about the meetings, the SABCS ROUND-UP: An Overwhelming Sense of Urgency.

Dr. Susan Love MD will be posting daily blogs about the meeting’s most interesting research reports and discussions. Here she discusses findings on hormone therapies, cell metabolism and the need for basic science, and the role of obesity and breast cancer survival. Dr. Love is the president and medical director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the author of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, Susan M. Love has retired from the active practice of surgery to dedicate herself to the urgent work of breast cancer prevention.

Nick Mulcahy, senior journalist for Medscape Hematology-Oncology, writes about the long-awaited results of clinical trial studying Treatment of Stage II/III Breast Cancer with Novartis.

Jane Zones, board member of Breast Cancer Action, reports on the first sessions on Day one of the Conference: Genetic Testing, Radiation Treatment, and Lymphedema.

Laura Nikolaides, NBCC Director of Research & Quality Care Programs, reports on Day 1 sessions that focus on tumor cell metabolism, 8 Sessions on therapies for therapy for ER-positive breast cancer, and on circulating tumor cells. For all the new information presented so far, Nikolaides comments on the reality of where we are in the war on breast cancer today:

“Speakers in the afternoon agreed that decreasing mortality from breast cancer will require having a better understanding of tumor dormancy and recurrence.  Breast cancer has been known to recur up to 25 years after the primary tumor was removed.  But unfortunately, more questions were asked than answered.  What we don’t know is how common is tumor dormancy, where the dormant cells reside in the body, and what reawakens them, the speakers said.”

The need for basic research is clear. This meeting has become a premiere venue to present new information and discoveries from laboratory and clinical research. It’s a step. And, it’s a place for clinicians, researchers, and advocates to gather. Let the conversations continue.

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"women urged to get screened because it might save their lives. But that’s only 1 possible outcome, and it’s the least likely one" @cragcrest

“Pink Ribbon Blues”

Paperback includes a new Introduction on fundraising controversies and a color insert with images of, and reactions to, the pinking of breast cancer (2012).

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