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BCRF Researchers Honored at ASCO Annual Meeting

Seven BCRF investigators were recognized for their contributions in breast cancer research and care.
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The annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology is the largest clinical oncology meeting in the world. This year’s meeting, held from May 31-June 4 in Chicago, had more than 30,000 attendees which included clinical and laboratory scientists, professionals from every oncology specialty, trainees, patient advocates and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry. For five days, they listened to the latest reports on advances in clinical and laboratory research across the spectrum of cancer diseases.

In addition to research updates, each year ASCO’s committee members select awardees in a variety of categories of distinction. BCRF is proud to acknowledge members of its scientific leadership and researchers who were recognized at this year’s meeting.

Joan S. Brugge, PhD, BCRF Scientific Advisory Board Member

Dr. Brugge received the Science of Oncology Award and Lecture acknowledging her contributions to the understanding of tumorigenesis, including her seminal work in characterizing the development of normal breast and breast cancer cells.

Her recent research focuses on the development of treatment resistance and methods to overcome resistance. In her award presentation, Dr. Brugge explained how tumor cells adapt to the stresses of their cellular environment which influences drug resistance and tumor growth. This knowledge may fuel the discovery of potential therapeutic targets.  BCRF spoke to Dr. Brugge at the meeting. You can watch the Facebook live interview here.

Lisa A. Carey, MD was elected to the Fellows of ASCO. The Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO) distinction recognizes ASCO members for their extraordinary volunteer service, dedication, and commitment to ASCO. BCRF congratulates Dr. Carey for being elected to the FASCO and spoke with her during the meeting.  You can view the interview where she discusses the role of clinical trials in advancing care for patients here.

Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, FASCO, Co-Scientific Director, BCRF.

Dr. Garber was honored with the ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture acknowledging her contributions toward cancer control and prevention, including her work in clinical cancer genetics, triple negative breast cancer, and the use of agents that target DNA repair defect. In her award talk, Dr. Garber spoke about the efforts made by her team and others to understand why some individuals are more likely to develop breast cancer, which individuals should be tested and how they should be counseled on test results, who is more likely to benefit from certain treatment strategies and how we’re starting to address the challenges of cancer prevention.  

Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, MACP, FASCO, Chair of the BCRF Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Hortobagyi received the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture where he was honored as one of the world’s leading authorities on the management of breast cancer. In his award lecture, he highlighted key achievements over his illustrious career spanning nearly 50 years. Many of those achievements mark milestones in advances in the care and quality of life of breast cancer patients, beginning with the evolution of clinical trials, the discovery of new drug targets, and advent of neoadjuvant therapy, through the completion of the human genome project, which led to the molecular profiling of tumors and laid the foundation of precision medicine. “Research success, by definition is incremental,” he said. “You have to build on what you learn and take the information two steps further.”

Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH, FASCO

Dr. Partridge was honored with the Ellen L. Stovall Award and Lecture for Advancement of Cancer Survivorship Care for her work on characterizing the unique issues that face younger women with breast cancer, including the impact of treatment on fertility, adherence with hormonal therapy, psychological impact, effects of treatment on sexual functioning, and the factors that play an important role in patient decision-making.

In her awards lecture titled, “The Art and Science of Cancer Survivorship” she acknowledged both the progress and challenges that remain in improving the care and quality of life for the growing number of cancer survivors. You can read more about Dr. Partridge’s BCRF work here and watch an interview with her recorded at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, FACP, FASCO

Dr. Shulman received the Humanitarian Award recognizing his work in the development and his leadership role in the establishment of national cancer treatment programs with the Ministries of Health in Rwanda and Haiti. BCRF had a chance to speak with Dr. Shulman about his work in Rwanda and the impact BCRF funding has had on its success. You can view the interview here.

Norman Wolmark, MD, FACS

Dr. Wolmark received the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture for his leadership of National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Foundation, in advancing the field of breast cancer. In his award presentation, Dr. Wolmark presented 60 years of NSABP clinical trials that have led to changes in standards of care in the management of early breast cancer. This included early trials the showed no added benefit of radical mastectomy over breast conserving surgery with radiation. Later trials led to the retreat from chemotherapy in patients with a low risk of occurrence. Many ongoing trials are leading the way in precision medicine. 

The late Dr. Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO was honored at the ASCO Annual Meeting for her contributions in geriatric oncology. Dr Hurria, who tragically lost her life last fall in a car accident last year, was remembered throughout the ASCO meeting. BCRF acknowledged her commitment to mentoring the next generation with a merit award in her honor that provides travel costs for a young investigator in geriatric oncology to attend the meeting and present their research. In addition, the Conquer Cancer Foundation endowed a young investigator award in geriatric oncology that will bear her name.

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