This year's San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, starting December 8, will feature a new face in its leadership lineup.
Peter M. Ravdin, MD, PhD, will serve as conference co-director with Baylor Medical College's C. Kent Osborne, MD, and represent the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC) of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), in the tripartite partnership created when the American Association for Cancer Research became a joint sponsor in 2008.
Longtime co-chair Charles A. Coltman Jr., MD, who has retired, will be co-director, ex-officio, and Vanderbilt-Ingram's Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, will continue to represent AACR on the executive and program planning committees.
Dr. Ravdin, well-known as the developer of Adjuvant! Online, the computer tool that estimates benefits and risks of chemotherapy following breast cancer surgery, returned to UTHSCSA earlier this year when he was appointed Director of its Breast Health Clinic.
He had previously been associated with CTRC from 1987 until 2002, when he left to become Research Professor of the Department of Biostatistics at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has long served on SABCS's program planning committee.
In a telephone interview, Dr. Ravdin said the symposium has been successful in its evolving relationship with AACR in getting more basic and translational research into the program.
“I feel good about the current situation as the meeting continues in a constant evolution and renewal with its mix of clinical, translational, and basic research, fulfilling a huge need,” he said.
“I don't think SABCS will ever be the place where it is dominated by the basic and translational science, but I would like it to be the best place to come to talk with people who have a different point of attack on the [breast cancer] problem. So the translational and basic researchers will want to come because it will give them a chance to talk to people within the clinical realm, and the clinicians will want to come because it will be something that will keep them updated and allow them to potentially establish collaborations with people in basic and translational science.”
‘Hugely Successful’ Year-in-Review Lectures
Dr. Ravdin said the format of this year's meeting won't have too many changes over those held previously, and would repeat last year's “hugely successful Sunday morning Year-in-Review lectures,” which will provide attendees with valuable summaries of presentations and other breast cancer developments during the past year, without presenting any new data if some people need to leave earlier.
The sections are moderated by Dr. Osborne and will include:
* Advances in Basic Breast Cancer Research, by Suzanne A.W. Fuqua, PhD.
* Translational Breast Cancer Research, by Mitchell Dowsett, MD, PhD.
* Early Breast Cancer, by Aron Goldhirsch, MD.
* Progress in Advanced Breast Cancer, by Lisa A. Carey, MD.
Dr. Ravdin noted that poster sessions end reasonably early to allow time afterward for continuing discussions during what is otherwise a long and very intense meeting.
Will Add More about SABCS to Adjuvant! Online
He also spoke with great pride about the comprehensive, multidisciplinary breast cancer program he is directing at CTRC, and said that he planned to add more content about the symposium to Adjuvant! Online, which he also hopes to broaden by including more information about lung and colorectal cancers in addition to breast cancer.
AZURE Trial on Zoledronic Acid
As for the highlights of the meeting, Dr. Ravdin predicted that one study in particular is most likely to have practice-changing implications: “Adjuvant Treatment with Zoledronic Acid in Stage II/III Breast Cancer: The AZURE trial (BIG 01/04),” with Robert E. Coleman reporting the long-awaited results on Dec. 10 (Abstract 226, Presentation S4-5 in General Session 4).
Other key topics that Dr. Ravdin pointed to as highlights of the meeting include:
* Will bevacizumab improve therapy for patients with early breast cancer?
* Is measuring CYP 2D6 clinically useful for prediction of the effectiveness of adjuvant tamoxifen?
* Targeting HER2 beyond trastuzumab.
* Stem cell research.
* Examining axillary nodes.
* Circulating tumor cells.
* Possible new agents for breast cancer.
* Effect of obesity on prognosis for women receiving adjuvant therapy for breast cancer.