Dec 11, 2015
By Lori J. Pierce, MD, 2015 Breast Cancer Symposium Steering Committee Chair
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer
This year’s Breast Cancer Symposium marked the final year and capstone program for the meeting, which began in 2007 as a collaboration between ASBD, ASBrS, ASCO, ASTRO, NCBC, and SSO. Through the years, the Symposium has brought a unique multidisciplinary perspective to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer with renowned international faculty, key scientific breakthroughs, and educational talks.
At the start of the planning process for this year’s meeting, the combined Steering and Program Committee decided to focus the Symposium on where were are, where we have been, and where we are going in the field. This theme commenced with the Opening Session, which addressed these questions from the perspectives of medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology, and continued through sessions on recent and ongoing clinical trials, controversial strategies for diagnosis and treatment, state-of-the art genomics, and abstract sessions for oral and poster presentations. In its entirety, the program drew together various disciplines and perspectives on the state of breast cancer care today, how we got here, and where we can go next.
For attendees who would like to revisit key sessions and presentations, or members of the breast care community who were unable to attend the Symposium but would like highlights, I have asked three of my colleagues to summarize the following sessions:
- General Session 3: Controversies in Surgery and Radiation Therapy by Dr. Kelly Hunt
- General Session 4: Breast Cancer Risk and Risk Reduction by Dr. Banu Arun
- General Session 7: Genomics and Personalized/Precision Medicine by Dr. Julie Gralow
Each has chosen five questions submitted via eQ&A by attendees during the session to address in her ASCO Connection Clinical Conversations post, as a way to continue the conversation between the audience and the faculty. As in past years, the diverse and engaged audience this year posed questions that were thought-provoking and allowed speakers to explore important issues during Q&A, but, as is often the case, not all questions could be addressed in the time available to us onsite.
I hope that this continuing dialogue is useful to both attendees and those who were unable to join us at the final Breast Cancer Symposium, and I would like to thank the committees, faculty, and attendees who contributed to the success of this meeting through the years.