1. LaCorte, Sarah

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Since 1977, the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium has aimed to provide state-of-the-art information on breast cancer research. In 2020, the 43rd annual conference will be held virtually December 8-11.


Attendees will have access to thousands of scientific abstracts encompassing the latest clinical, translational, and basic research. SABCS 2020 is a chance for you to enhance your practice through educational and networking opportunities. Check out highlights from the upcoming conference to help you make the most of your experience.


Program Overview

Attendees will have access to a wide range of educational and career development programs covering the spectrum of breast cancer research and treatment.


The Plenary Lectures, which focus on the latest trends in breast cancer, will be available on demand on Wednesday, December 9:


* Local Regional Management Following Neoadjuvant Therapy: Minding the Knowledge Gaps featuring Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD, Bringham & Women's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston


* Advancing Cancer Research During Challenging Times featuring Norman E. "Ned" Sharpless, MD, National Cancer Institute



Also available on demand Wednesday are the Mini Symposia, Basic Science Forum, Clinical Science Forum, Translational Science Forums, and Clinical Case Discussions.


There is no shortage of educational sessions and workshops available to attendees highlighting a variety of areas in breast cancer research and therapeutics, including an FDA and Breast Cancer Workshop moderated by Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, and the Clinical Research Workshop with moderator Virginia G. Kaklamani, MD, both held on Tuesday, December 8.


Topics that will be featured during the educational sessions include the following:


* Special Topics in ER+ Breast Cancer


* "Choosing Wisely" to Reduce the Toxicity and Burden of Radiation Therapy


* Metastasis-A Moving Target


* De-escalation of Surgical Therapy: What Does the Data Support


* Personalized HER2 Targeted Therapy 2020-Are We There?



In addition to the many scientific programs, Career Development Forums on Wednesday, December 9 offer early-career scientists (defined as graduate students, postdoctoral or clinical fellows, or medical students and residents) the opportunity to learn how to foster their professional growth and relationships with their peers.


To close the conference, attendees can participate in one of the highlights of SABCS: "Year in Review." This special session examines the top contributions, publications, and discoveries in breast cancer. Moderated by SABCS Co-Director C. Kent Osborne, MD, this discussion will feature experts from basic science, translational research, early-stage breast cancer, and advanced breast cancer.


Hot Topics

SABCS 2020 will also continue discussions around COVID-19 and breast cancer care, with a special session on Tuesday, December 8-"Breast Cancer Care During COVID-19: How Did Patients and Clinicians Respond - A Global Perspective" moderated by Melissa L. Bondy, PhD.


Other special session topics on Tuesday delve into the topic of disparities in cancer care, including a session on "Confronting Inequities of Care" and the following:


* Session 1: Socio-Economic Access MattersLisa Newman, MD, MPH, from the University of Chicago, will discuss why there have been so many investments in ending barriers, why do socioeconomic disparities exist, and what can be done to end disparities (economic, screening, surgical, and in clinical trials). Specifically, how do we reach the right people and eliminate implicit biases that may be impacting the black population?


* Session 2: Not a One Size Fits All: Personalized Medicine for the Underserved Olufunmilayo Olopade, MBBS, from the University of Chicago, will speak on why it's important to work with diverse patient advocates to generate more evidence (real-world and scientific research) that better informs genomic profiling, personal ancestry, differences in chemotherapy response, and genetic expression difference between various races-African, African American, and European ancestry.


* Session 3: Policy Change to End Disparities



Maria Elena Martinez, PhD, from UC San Diego discusses how recommendations could work to end health disparities, and how patient advocates can activate and collaborate with the scientific community to achieve state and federal policy change.


Tuesday also will feature another special section on Global Breast Cancer Screening, including the discussion "Breast cancer screening trials in low and middle income countries: Lessons learned," with Rengaswamy Sankaranarayanan, MD, MBBS, and "Weighing the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening," with Philippe Autier, MD, MPH, PhD.


On Friday, December 11, experts Mark Robson, MD, and Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, will debate against Judith Balmana, MD, PhD, and Allison Kurian, MD, MSc, on the topic "All Breast Cancer Patients Should Have Germline Genetic Testing."


Recognizing Excellence

Throughout the symposium, pioneers in the field will be recognized and given the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience through keynote lectures.


Donald McDonnell, PhD, Co-Director of the Women's Cancer Program at the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, will receive the Susan G. Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science. McDonnell is being honored for his significant contributions to breast cancer research, which have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of estrogen receptor signaling in breast cancer. His research has resulted in critical insights into the structure, function, and regulation of nuclear hormone receptors and is helping to lay the foundation for the development and clinical use of novel endocrine therapies to treat ER-positive breast cancer.


Laura Esserman, MD, Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, as well as the Alfred A. de Lorimier Endowed Chair in General Surgery, and Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, is the recipient of the Susan G. Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research. Esserman is being recognized for her seminal contributions in clinical research, which are paving the way towards more personalized approaches to breast cancer care. She has led innovative clinical trial programs, notably the I-SPY trials, which have become models to accelerate the development of safe, effective, personalized treatment, detection and prevention options, and improve the delivery of clinical care for breast cancer patients.


Don't Miss the Latest Research at #SABCS2020!

Join Oncology Times virtually! We will be providing live updates on the latest research throughout the conference. Follow us on Twitter (@OncologyTimes) and Facebook (@OncologyTimesNews) to learn about cutting-edge breast cancer breakthroughs.