San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium a Success

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Breast cancer survivors, patients and advocates received special attention at the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium that was held Dec. 10–14.

The 42nd annual event, which is founded, owned and operated by UT Health San Antonio, has always provided a space for advocates to engage, exhibit and learn. But this year they had their own space to rest, recharge and network, along with special ribbons for their name tags.

“SABCS is committed to patient advocates, survivors and patients,” says Symposia Director Sharon Hill. “Advocates and patients bring valuable insight to the advancement of the treatment of breast cancer. Their active engagement is a crucial element in making the annual symposium a success.”

Along with the patient advocate lounge and visual acknowledgment on ribbons, the event included career forums for young clinicians, scientists and physicians starting out. These enhancements augmented the already-rich program of lectures, panels, presentations and exhibits focused on the treatment of breast cancer and premalignant breast disease.

“The SABCS Planning Committee initiates, develops, plans and assesses the needs for the SABCS annual meeting education program,” Hill says. “The SABCS program is designed with excellent components full of content and value from the first day to the last day.”

More than 7,000 physicians, scientists, investigators and advocates from across the globe attended SABCS, which has become one of the premier breast cancer symposia in the world. The Baylor College of Medicine Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) co-sponsor the event, providing education and accessibility to the latest information regarding the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of premalignant breast cancer and breast disease.

Presentations on drug trials, treatment breakthroughs and new research on the treatment and prevention of breast cancer were covered during the five-day conference. A number of researchers and practitioners also used SABCS as an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues they see only at this event.

It also provided an opportunity to hear presentations from some of the most prominent physicians and clinicians in the treatment of breast cancer, many of whom received awards for their work and presented lectures on their research. This included 2019 William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award recipient Joseph Sparano, MD.

Jane Visvader, PhD, and Geoffrey Lindeman, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, received the 2019 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science. They are joint heads of the Cancer Biology and Stem Cells Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

The Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research was presented to Matthew J. Ellis BSc, MB, PhD, FRCP, Director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and Associate Director for Translational Research at the Dan L Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine.

AACR’s Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, was presented to Celina Kleer, MD, Director of the Breast Pathology Program, Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

AACR’s Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research was presented by Myles Brown, MD, Director of the Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Two plenary lectures were scheduled. Ellen Puré, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia presented “Stromal Cells and Matrix Remodeling as Essential Regulators of the Tumor Microenvironment.” Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, of the University of Chicago, presented “Metastatic Breast Cancer Oligo Too Many: A Role for Ablative Therapy?”

The Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Long School of Medicine designated this live activity up to a maximum of 42 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Details on accreditation and applicability can be found on the conference website.

Visit for more information about the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.