Conference Scene: A snapshot of new developments in medical oncology, surgery and radiotherapy

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2013, Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX, USA, 10–14 December 2013

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2013 was a 5-day program with 7500 attendees from over 90 countries. Once again, the symposium provided a number of practice-changing and practice-reinforcing presentations. This conference scene reports on the most important presentations, with commentary from three leading breast cancer specialists.

The oncology scene

The trial of adjuvant paclitaxel and trastuzumab for node-negative disease, HER2+ disease presented by Dr Tolaney (Dana–Farber Cancer Center, MA, USA) at the 36th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) has the potential to change clinical practice. The clinical trials supporting the approval of adjuvant trastuzumab excluded women with node-negative disease whose primary tumors were ≤1 cm [1]. However, retrospective trials of disease outcome in women with node-negative HER2+ disease suggest a poor prognosis. With a median follow-up of 74 months, the MD Anderson Cancer Center (TX, USA) review of women with node-negative tumors ≤1 cm receiving only local therapy reported a recurrence-free survival of 77.1% in 98 HER2+ women compared with 93.7% in 867 HER2- patients [2].

Click here to view the full article.