The days of attending the Breast Cancer Symposium, just quietly listening to useful lectures, and then going home are over. In recent years, the meeting’s sponsors and planners have worked to make the 3-day gathering far more interactive and as intimate as a meeting with 1,500 attendees can be.
“We’ve worked hard to create a much more interactive meeting. We’ve tried to make sure ours has more intimacy compared to other breast cancer meetings,” said Lori J. Pierce, MD, a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, a past cochair of the Breast Cancer Symposium, and current member of the symposium’s steering committee.
Bring Your Cases to the Tumor Board
At this year’s meeting, in addition to showcasing the latest controversies and debates in the field and offering forward-thinking, collaborative discussions on optimizing treatment and patient care, for the first time ever, the symposium’s popular tumor board session—during which a panel of breast cancer experts discuss particularly confounding cases—will be extended and opened up to audience participation.
“This year, audience members can bring up their difficult cases for the panel to discuss—that’s brand new,” Dr. Pierce noted.
Also this year, the poster walks will be opened up to anyone who would like to join. Previously, poster walks were limited to fellows, who would follow a leading breast cancer specialist on a narrated stroll from one fascinating study to the next. Now anyone interested in enhancing their awareness of new research can join, said Dr. Pierce. This is a chance to “rub elbows” with some of the leaders in breast cancer.
Meet the Professors
Attendees can also participate in this year’s new Meet the Professors sessions, talking one-on-one with breast cancer experts about case management or any topic that’s weighing on them, Dr. Pierce said.
In addition, the question-and-answer portion of the symposium sessions will go on longer than ever before, an enhancement made because of popular demand. “No matter how much time you allow for Q&A, there’s always desire for more,” Dr. Pierce commented. “So this time we’ve lengthened it in each session, giving attendees a chance to interact with some of the leading clinicians and practitioners in breast cancer.”
Beyond the multidisciplinary educational sessions, the symposium will offer multiple opportunities to network with colleagues—interactions that can be just as valuable.
Sponsors from all Disciplines
Along with ASCO, sponsors of the symposium include the American Society of Breast Disease, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Inc, and the Society of Surgical Oncology.
Also at the symposium, this year’s Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award recipient will be announced. The Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Research Fellowship funds an early-career investigator committed to conducting breast cancer research at the awardee’s institution and under the mentorship and supervision of the awardee. It consists of a 1-year grant in the amount of $50,000.
To register for this year’s Breast Cancer Symposium, go to www.breastcasym.org, and select “Register for the Symposium.”
The abstract submission deadline is May 15, 2012. ■
© 2012. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.