Why attend SABCS®? Moderators, presenters enjoy networking, high-quality science


Estimated Read Time:

3 minutes

Since the first small meeting in 1978, the SABCS® has evolved into a robust program with cutting-edge research and hot topics in breast cancer and premalignant breast disease. This year’s Symposium continues the tradition of bringing together experts offering the latest science and research.

Here, Moderator and Program Planning Committee Member Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD, and Special Session Co-Moderator and Presenter Martine Piccart, MD, PhD, share their thoughts on the value of SABCS® and why they think the meeting is an important factor in advancing breast cancer research and treatment.

Dr. Balko will moderate State-of-the-Art Session 2: Implications of Senescence for Breast Cancer Biology and Treatment from 1:00–2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 7 in the Hemisfair Ballroom 1-2. Dr. Piccart will co-moderate Special Session 1: New Drug Approvals for Metastatic Breast Cancer from 12–1:55 p.m. Tuesday, December 5 in the Hemisfair Ballroom 1-2. She will participate in the debate-style presentation Anthracyclines…to give or not to give? from 1:00–2:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 6 in the Stars at Night Ballroom 1-2.

Stay tuned for more highlights from session moderators, presenters, and program committee members along with ongoing news, updates, and important information on the 2023 SABCS®.

Why is attendance at SABCS® valuable for those in the breast cancer field?

Justin Balko, Pharm.D., PhD
Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD

Dr. Balko: I’ve been coming to the meeting for almost 15 years. I have a long history at SABCS®, and I’ve met a lot of close colleagues there. One of the important parts of going to the conference every year is to get a feel for what’s going on clinically, what things are making a lot of “noise,” and what will impact patients. As a translational researcher, I think that’s incredibly valuable. As a basic science researcher, it also offers new questions to answer in the lab to help move the field forward. From a clinical perspective, it gives us a lot of good ideas about what is working and what isn’t, and how to design new clinical trials. And then, of course, it’s well attended by everybody in the breast cancer field across the world. That helps make it a great networking opportunity, with everyone coming together to share data and make sure that we’re all working toward the common goal.

Martine J. Piccart, MD, PhD
Martine J. Piccart, MD, PhD

Dr. Piccart: I believe it is the best breast cancer conference right now in the world. It is a very interesting mélange of clinical, translational, and basic science aspects. And what I’ve always found extremely clever has been the fact that while the audience is composed mainly by clinicians, there are excellent general sessions in which they include translational and basic science presentations. It’s always very up to date, and sessions on lab discoveries are often presented by young, brilliant scientists who are talented in clearly explaining what they are doing in the lab.

What topics are you looking forward to diving into more deeply?

Dr. Piccart: SABCS® always has sessions on major recent discoveries, so we can hear about important clinical trials and new drugs.

What are you anticipating learning more about that is outside of your field of specialty?

Dr. Balko: Part of the goal of going is to expose yourself to other things that are going on, because if I do translational immuno-oncology, I might only read papers on that field. When you go to the conference, it’s very well designed because there aren’t 100 things going on all at once. Attendees have a good opportunity to see almost everything because, while there’s a lot going on, it isn’t all happening at the same time.