Inaugural Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference Draws Top Researchers, Advocates

Komen Puget Sound welcomed patients and partners to the first Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference (NWMBCC) on Saturday Oct. 15. A free, open-to-the-public event held at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the NWMBCC was organized by breast cancer patients whose disease has metastasized (spread), giving patients and caregivers opportunities to learn from prominent breast cancer researchers and advocates.

nw-metastatic-conferenceFeatured speakers included Fred Hutch researchers Dr. VK Gadi and Dr. Julie Gralow, both of whom care for breast cancer patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; Dr. Nora Disis, whose Komen-funded work at the University of Washington involves vaccine research and immunotherapy; and naturopathic oncologist Dr. Laura James on integrative care and complementary therapies. Dr. Thomas Brown of Swedish Cancer Institute led a panel discussion on patient-centered research and clinical trial opportunities; Beth Caldwell of METUP led a discussion on advocacy at the local and national levels, capped with an address from Congresswoman Suzan DelBene.

Along with Komen Puget Sound, partner sponsors on the NWMBCC were Swedish Cancer Institute, Pfizer Oncology, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Medivation Inc., Eisai Inc., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, MultiCare Regional Cancer Center, Walgreens and Tri-Digital.

Addressing and solving the research challenges posed by metastatic disease is a key component to reach Susan G. Komen’s new bold goal to reduce breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. over the next decade. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, recently announced a total of $32.7 million in new research grants for 2016. The grants include $800,000 in new funding for research at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Washington state to $11,480,427 since 1982.