Think BIG: news you may have missed
24 September 2013
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BIG against breast cancer attends a major medical conference quarterly, including the IMPAKT conference which we co-host with the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) each May. These conferences play an important part in enabling our scientists to collaborate and share discoveries. We thought we'd share some insights into the news from the three major conferences earlier this year.
St Gallen Cathedral
St. Gallen Breast Cancer Conference
March 2013
The recognition that early breast cancer is a spectrum of diseases, each requiring a specific systemic therapy, guided the 13th St Gallen International Breast Cancer Consensus Conference [1]. The meeting assembled 3.600 participants from nearly 90 countries worldwide. Educational content focused on the primary and multidisciplinary treatment approach of early breast cancer.

The meeting culminated on the final day, with the St Gallen Breast Cancer Treatment Consensus, an opinion discussion and report established by 40–50 of the world’s most experienced opinion leaders in the field of breast cancer treatment. One major issue identified during the consensus discussion was the increasing gap between what is theoretically feasible and what is actually possible -- in patient risk stratification, in treatment, and in daily practice management. We need to find new paths to provide access to innovations from clinical research into daily practice.
1.  The Breast Supplement (2013) (In Press) 22 (Suppl 1) S1—S120

May 2013
BIG and ESMO co-hosted the 5th annual IMPAKT conference in Brussels from May 2-4, 2013.  The IMPAKT meeting presents cutting edge, ‘translational’ breast cancer research that is beginning to have an impact on the way breast cancer patients are treated. 

One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the results of a study led by BIG Chair Dr. Martine Piccart and Executive Board member Dr. Jose Baselga.  The study, which was developed by prominent breast cancer experts from Europe and the US, involved analysis of 230 tumor samples from post-menopausal women with advanced breast cancer that was hormonereceptor positive and HER2 negative who had taken part in the BOLERO-2 phase III trial. All patients had at least one genetic alteration, and 98% had more than 2, the researchers report. Among the frequently mutated genes were PIK3CA, TP53 and ARID1A.

Researchers said that the study revealed a number of potentially important prospects for targeted therapies, and brings opportunities of truly personalised therapy for breast cancer a step closer.
Chicago McCormick Place Conference Center
June 2013
Several major discoveries related to breast cancer were presented at the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Conference in Chicago, USA.  ASCO is an annual event that brings together more than 25.000 oncology professionals from a broad range of specialties, making it an excellent venue for exploring the theme of the meeting - "Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer."

An important announcement at the 2013 conference was the completion of ASCO's data sharing standards for breast cancer treatment.  These standards will allow medical practitioners globally to share data more effectively, for better patient care.

With respect to breast cancer research, important findings were presented in the following areas...

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