Comments From Our Readers
February 16, 2015
Currently Viewing
'Cross-Pollination" of Breast Cancer Knowledge was Encouraged at SABCS
February 16, 2015 – Debu Tripathy, MD
Getting a Second Opinion
February 16, 2015 – Maryann Hammers
Put on a Happy Face
February 16, 2015 – Jeannette Moninger
A Two-Way Street: Joan Lunden Shares Her Cancer Experience
February 16, 2015 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Outsmarting Melanoma
February 17, 2015 – Erik Ness
Getting with the Program: Expanded Access Programs
February 17, 2015 – Tony Hagen
Grappling with Guilt
February 17, 2015 – Don Vaughan
Lining Up for Online Support
February 18, 2015 – Elizabeth Whittington
Balancing Act
February 18, 2015 – Christina Izzo
Gut Reaction
February 19, 2015 – Cheryl Alkon
Not Immune to Confusion: Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer
February 19, 2015 – Omid Hamid, MD
Camp Kesem for Kids
February 20, 2015 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Brain Tumor Doesn't Stop Student Athlete from Raising $1 Million for Research
February 20, 2015 – Elizabeth Whittington
Higher Vitamin D Levels Associated With Better Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer
February 20, 2015 – Lauren M. Green
Symptom Management in Childhood Cancer Patients: There's an App for That
February 20, 2015 – Elizabeth Whittington
Help With the Costs of Targeted Drugs
February 20, 2015 – Len Lichtenfeld, MD
When Your Life Is Touched by Cancer
February 20, 2015 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Study Highlights Geographical Differences in Cervical Cancer Incidence
February 20, 2015 – Beth Fand Incollingo
CancerFilms.org
February 20, 2015 – Elizabeth Whittington
Council Would Accelerate Development of Prostate Cancer Diagnostics
February 20, 2015 – Beth Fand Incollingo
Research Updates from ASH & SABCS
February 20, 2015 – Staff Reports
Pipeline
February 25, 2015 – Staff Reports

'Cross-Pollination" of Breast Cancer Knowledge was Encouraged at SABCS

While science sometimes moves forward in quantum leaps, it more often advances in small steps, and this year's San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium demonstrated both sides of that coin.
BY Debu Tripathy, MD
PUBLISHED February 16, 2015
Our readers ask us many questions about the research process: How are new ideas generated and tested? When are they ready to be applied to routine patient care? Hearing about advances in the news can be confusing, because these fundamental questions are usually not addressed.

Our coverage of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), illustrating the vast potential of the world’s largest annual gathering of breast cancer researchers and clinicians, sheds some light on those issues. While science sometimes moves forward in quantum leaps, it more often advances in small steps, and this year’s symposium demonstrated both sides of that coin. For example, one study showed the potential benefits of blocking ovarian function in premenopausal women who are receiving the standard breast cancer drug tamoxifen. This could be a practice-changing finding. On the other hand, the very preliminary observation of a few responses to immunotherapy may not be ready for general application. Still, it could have huge implications by creating new research directions that could have a big impact on patient care in the next few years. In this issue of CURE, you will read more about those results, along with interpretations and perspectives on the findings.

Now in its 37th year, SABCS has maintained its original mission of bringing together a wide array of basic and clinical scientists, population study experts, and, more recently, patient advocates. There are very few concurrent sessions, so that everyone is able to listen to presentations across all the different disciplines. This “cross-pollination” is conducive to multidisciplinary interaction. A radiologist might formulate a novel research question after hearing a new perspective from a cell biologist. A patient may ask a clinical investigator to expand upon the side effects of a new drug being tested in a phase 1 trial. This rich environment is a much more democratic way to move the field forward, and is in itself an experiment in scientific culture—one that we hope will more effectively make a difference for patients.

Debu Tripathy, MD
Editor-in-Chief
Professor of Medicine Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In