More than 30 research studies led by Dana-Farber faculty to be presented at San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

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Physician-researchers from Dana-Farber’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers will present more than 30 research studies at the virtual 43rd San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 8-12. The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is the world's most comprehensive academic breast cancer meeting, attracting thousands of breast cancer professionals from around the world.

Dana-Farber faculty will be leading and participating in spotlight sessions, debates, posters, lectures, and educational sessions covering both clinical and basic research at this year’s conference.

Notable presentations by Dana-Farber researchers include:

Title: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) from the Ph 3 IMpassion031 trial of neoadjuvant (NA) atezolizumab + chemo in early triple-negative breast cancer (eTNBC)

Abstract: GS3-02

Presenter: Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

Session Time: Thursday December 10, 2020 11:15AM CT

Summary: Investigators led by Mittendorf found in the IMpassion 031 trial that adding an immunotherapy agent to a three-drug chemotherapy regimen can improve the likelihood that early-stage triple-negative breast cancer will recede to undetectable levels. The patient reported outcomes data from the IMpassion031 being presented at San Antonio suggests that adding the immunotherapy agent in this cohort of patients did not impair quality of life or add treatment burden.

Title: Partitioning of cancer therapeutics in nuclear condensates

Abstract: GS3-10

Presenter: Isaac A. Klein, MD, PhD

Session Time: Thursday December 10, 2020 11:15AM CT

Summary: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and a leading cause of mortality; the most common type is driven by the estrogen receptor transcription factor and diverse coactivators, which effect oncogene expression. Study authors recently discovered that the transcription apparatus functions in part by forming phase-separated condensates, which are liquid-like membraneless organelles with a distinct internal physicochemical environment that concentrates biomolecules and drugs. In this study, Klein and colleagues examine how this new understanding of transcription can enable the design and discovery of small molecule drugs to disrupt oncogene expression

Title: Treatment persistence of residual breast tumors through an embryonic diapause-like cancer cell state with suppressed Myc activity

Abstract: GS1-07

Presenter: Eugen Dhimolea, PhD

Session Time: 9:30 am CT

Summary: Dhimolea and colleagues have developed three-dimensional cultures of BRCA cell lines and patient-derived samples called organoids that imitate the emergence of post-treatment residual tumors in patients. Their work shows that tumor cells in laboratory models and in patients persist after treatment by entering a dormant state with paused biosynthetic and metabolic activities.  They demonstrate that this adaptation of cancer cells to drug exposure involves the suppression of the cellular molecule Myc, a master regulator of biosynthesis and metabolism in normal and cancer cells.

This adaptive survival mechanism used by cancer cells imitates that of diapause, a “survival mode” dormant state in some mammalian species that suspends normal embryonic development during adverse conditions and only allows its resuming when the stress factors have been removed. Dhimolea and colleagues used their laboratory models of this diapause-like cancer cell state to test the efficacy of several hundred therapeutic candidates. They found that drug molecules that reversed the dormant state of chemo-persistent cancer cells could also re-sensitize them to chemotherapy. The development of therapies against these drug-persistent tumor cells could induce durable responses and greatly improve clinical outcomes.

Educational sessions and lectures led by Dana-Farber faculty include:

Title: Personalized HER2 Targeted Therapy 2020 - Are We There?

Moderator:  Eric P. Winer, MD

Time: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm CT   


Title: Genomic and Epigenomic Alterations in Resistance

Moderator: Rinath Jeselsohn, MD

Time: Tuesday, December 8 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm CT


Title: Accelerating Recovery After Breast Cancer

Presentation: Body image and sexual health

Time: Tuesday, December 8 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CT

Presenter: Ann H. Partridge, MD MPH


Presentation: Plenary lecture Local Regional Management Following Neoadjuvant Therapy: Minding the Knowledge Gaps

Time: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 8:00 am CT

Presenter: Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD

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Breast Cancer
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