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This year’s December stampede of breast cancer research was the usual mélange of the sublime and the repetitive. The meeting burst open with a provocative discussion of guidelines for adjuvant systemic therapy by Martine Piccart-Gebhart (see the enclosed interview) followed by possibly the most intriguing clinical research paper of the year — Dennis Slamon’s presentation of the initial findings from the BCIRG 006 trial evaluating anthracycline- and nonanthracycline-based chemotherapy/trastuzumab adjuvant regimens.

The next morning, Paul Goss delivered perhaps the most interesting and discussed endocrine presentation, a subsequent analysis of the paradigm-shifting Canadian MA17 trial of letrozole after prior tamoxifen therapy. Paul, who now makes his home on this side of the border in Boston, expounded on the trial findings in an interview on the last issue of our series. San Antonio even brought some good news to the chemotherapeutic arena with Steve Jones’ encouraging presentation of a US Oncology trial that demonstrated a disease-free survival advantage with docetaxel/cyclophosphamide compared to doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide.

Our CME team once again partnered with Kent Osborne and the San Antonio group to produce an educational poster exhibit entitled “Breast Cancer Clinical Trials: Past, Present and Future.” During lunch breaks, we invited clinical investigators to a “Meet The Professor” session to review what was happening at the conference in real time while attendees quietly munched sandwiches and chips. Below, find a few snapshots from these sessions.

— Neil Love, MD
March 20, 2006

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