It’s over..there’s lots of unpacking (both laundry and learnings) yet to be done, but as I sit in the San Antonio airport I am already looking ahead to some very exciting projects!!
I’m sure there will be lots to come as I review my notes and share my impressions of the conference. Here’s the “first pass” on my first experience at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
First, it is overwhelming. With something like 8000 participants, and I can’t even imagine how many posters and abstracts, there is simply no way to take it all in. Funny story, this conference is so “big” that I just happened to be waiting in the wrong place for 20 minutes for my VERY FIRST session! Doh!
That said, the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation and my fellow scholarship advocates quickly made a huge conference feel quite small. No matter what session I was in, there was always a friendly advocate face to be found!
Speaking of advocates…I am still AWED by the time I spent with some of these AMAZING women! I’m a bit nervous naming names, but I must say that with these advocates doing what they do, we will continue to change the face of this disease. Most of you know who you are…and I love you!!
And as pertains to the changing face of breast cancer, there were some interesting things addressed by the conference. Here are some highlights:
1. Her2+ Disease. In addition to Herceptin, we now have Laptinib and Perjeta, and TDM1 around the corner. While progress never comes quickly enough, we’re making some!
2. TNBC. I don’t think there was anyone at the conference who doesn’t ache for our lack of advances in triple negative disease. One glimmer of hope was the a trial looking at Erlotinib FOLLOWED by doxorubicin the next day. The Erlotinib seems to open up the cells so that the doxorubicin is more effective. After I review my notes, I am sure there were some other relevant trials. Baby steps? Yeah…I’m pissed about it too!!!!!!
3. Mets. I have a personal interest in the mets research, of course. There was a wonderful presentation this morning reviewing the outcomes of last years ABC1 conference in Lisbon. There will be a post about that in the days (maybe weeks) to come! BUT, there’s some good news. Everolimus was approved this year for ER+/Her2- patients, and the aforementioned Perjeta and pending TDM1 will also benefit those of us with mets. That said, if there is ONE thing I heard loud and clear (and I HOPE I’m not the only one), it is this:
WE MUST INVESTIGATE METS FOR ITS OWN SAKE!
More often than not, metastatic patient trials are designed to provide information for primary disease treatment. It’s time for a change!
OK, more about mets, TNBC, SABCS and some AWESOME advocate news to come. Right now it’s time to board a flight and head home!
But not before I thank the INCREDIBLE women of the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation!!! Thank you, ladies…it was SUCH an honor to be a part of you this week!