Guest authors for this blog post are Kristi Maya and Barbara Stankova.

The Breastlink research had an active presence at this year’s San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). The team attended presentations for the full, five-day duration of the conference. There is nothing quite like leaving San Antonio feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after connecting with some of the brightest minds seeking to find medical solutions for this and future generations of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

We hope the breast cancer community might find some of our observations of interest. Please feel free to contact us for information about Breastlink’s commitment to breast cancer research.

Breastlink Research Perspective from News Announced During the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

ATLAS – 10 v 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen (TAM) in ER+ disease: Effects on outcome in the first and in the second decade after diagnosis.” Presented by Christina Davies at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium general session the morning of December 5, 2012.

  • This finding might soon impact the current standard of care for women taking tamoxifen.
  • Adjuvant Tamoxifen – Longer Against Shorter (ATLAS) is a well designed and conducted international, controlled and randomized study.
  • ATLAS researchers examined whether women who received tamoxifen for 10 years overall experienced additional benefit. They found significantly fewer recurrences (617 in the 10-year group as opposed to 711 in the 5-year group). Breast cancer mortality was also lower in the 10-year group (331 versus 397), as well as overall mortality (539 versus 722).
  • Please visit our blog post about this exciting tamoxifen announcement for additional information.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science and Clinical Research.

The 2012 Brinker Awards were presented to Hyman B. Muss, M.D. (Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Geriatric Oncology Program at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center) and Yosef Yarden, Ph.D. (Harold and Zelda Goldenberg Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel).

We enjoyed Dr. Muss’s 45-minute talk after receiving the 2012 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research. Dr. Muss was recognized for his care for the older breast cancer patient and for his contributions to breast cancer research. Dr. Muss spearheaded clinical trials that focused on the older breast cancer patient. He also developed state-of-the-art treatments that advanced the standard of care and quality of life for breast cancer patients. Dr. Muss’s work will benefit women for years to come.

Dr. Yarden received the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science. He was recognized for his work to understand growth factor receptors, especially the HER2 receptor, as targets for cancer drugs.

National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD® Advanced Topics Sessions

Many breast cancer non-profit organizations (NPOs) host events that coincide with the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The National Breast Cancer Coalition’s training program, Project LEAD, hosted some of the leading breast cancer advocates and researchers at this year’s SABCS. Here are our thoughts on a few of the talks we attended.

“Early Phase Clinical Trials – What are they for and why do they need to be better?” Susan G. Hilsenbeck. Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine.

  • Dr. Hilsenbeck explained how current trials are designed, how/what is working and how/what is not working.
  • She discussed looking at phase II trials as being more prominent in the future by expanding the number of enrolled patients for greater statistical power.

“Latest Trials and Evidence for T-DM1 in Metastatic Breast Cancer.” Sara Hurvitz, M.D. UCLA.

  • Dr. Hurvitz focused on the T-DM1 trials (past, present and future) looking at the drugs potential. T-DM1 is an experimental drug designed to target, and attack, cancer cells in patients with Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) positive breast cancer.
  • Dr. Hurvitz also spoke about novel trial design strategies using T-DM1 alone or in combination with additional regimens.
  • Dr. Hurvitz outlined several trials and discussed the data as well as side effects experienced by participants.
  • She discussed new trials that are going through the approval process and the use of T-DM1 in the neoadjuvant setting.

“Advocate Perspective on Trial Design an T-DM1.” Debbie Laxague, R.N.

  • Laxague is a National Breast Cancer Coalition advocate.
  • She spoke about T-DM1 trials in an adjuvant setting. The breast cancer community hopes patients are going to benefit from improved efficacy and lower toxicity.