1. DiGiulio, Sarah

Article Content

This year's Breast Cancer Symposium-scheduled to be held in San Francisco in September-will be the last year for the meeting, which started in 2007 and is cosponsored by the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Surgical Oncology.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

ASCO CEO Allen S. Lichter, MD, FASCO, said via email that the organization has decided to discontinue the symposium after this year to free up resources to focus in other areas: "The Breast Cancer Symposium was initiated to address the need for education focused on the multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of breast cancer. Since the time of its inception, though, other breast cancer meetings have embraced multi- and inter-disciplinary perspectives.


"ASCO is focusing on new opportunities in areas where there is a greater, unmet need for professional education, and has identified several key areas where knowledge gaps and few educational opportunities currently exist, including survivorship, palliative care, and quality of cancer care. We've since expanded our meeting offerings to include thematic symposia focused in these areas."

Figure. Shown at the... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Shown at the President's Dinner at this year's ASCO Annual Meeting, 2014-2015 President Peter Paul Yu, MD (left); and CEO Allen S. Lichter, MD, who has announced his intention to step down at the end of next June.

In 2014, ASCO hosted its first Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, and the meeting will be held again in October in Boston. Additionally, the inaugural Cancer Survivorship Symposium is planned for January in San Francisco.


Commenting in a separate interview, ASCO Immediate Past-President Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO, reiterated that ASCO has identified a need in the oncology community for meetings about other topics not covered elsewhere.


"Breast cancer is a big disease, and there is always more to say about it." But several other meetings, including the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and the ASCO Annual Meeting, now cover breast cancer research and care in a multidisciplinary way.


"We don't have unlimited resources," Yu said. "We're not competing with the other meetings. We're there to meet the needs of patients and the needs of the research. And there is [currently] no survivorship care meeting; there [was] no palliative care meeting; and there was no quality meeting."


He noted that for the Palliative Care meeting last year, ASCO booked a room for 300 people, but 700 people came: "We started turning people away because of the fire marshals. So we knew this topic was a big one."


Meeting Calendars & More Info

Other ASCO-related meetings can be found on the "Meetings" section of the ASCO website (; and additional cancer meetings overall can be found on OT's list of Conferences & Courses (


ASCO noted that updated information about this year's Breast Cancer Symposium will be posted on the meeting's website as it becomes available. (