7th International Symposium on the Intraductal Approach

Institution: Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
Investigator(s): Susan Love, M.D., M.B.A. -
Award Cycle: 2011 (Cycle 17) Grant #: 17MB-0002 Award: $25,000
Award Type: Joining Forces Conference Award
Research Priorities
Detection, Prognosis and Treatment>Imaging, Biomarkers, and Molecular Pathology: improving detection and diagnosis

Initial Award Abstract (2011)

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is dedicated to the eradication of breast cancer and to improve women’s health through innovative research, education and advocacy. One of the Foundations most unique endeavors is to sponsor a biennial international symposium on the intraductal approach. Intraductal literally means inside the milk ducts of the breast where breast cancer starts and research in this field is exploring the ability to access the lining of the milk ducts, finding the cells and other fluid biomarkers in the ducts and using this new knowledge to prevent and treat early stage breast cancer.
This symposium on the intraductal approach to breast cancer is the only venue devoted solely to this area of study. The field of intraductal research is growing exponentially as the anatomy and physiology of the breast are becoming better understood and more efforts are being spent on identifying early stages and risk factors and understanding how to effect changes in the breast without creating side effects to the entire body. There are still critical barriers to taking the intraductal research to the next level, and this will be the main focus of the 2011 Symposium, appropriately titled “The Normal Human Breast: Building our Understanding from Mice to Women”.
The goal of the 2011 Symposium is to facilitate discussion, and collaboration amongst a diverse group of researchers in order to identify the critical barriers to taking intraductal research to the next level. The invited speakers have different perspectives, and do not usually meet to exchange views outside of this venue. We will focus on the following main areas:

  1. Develop promising new ways to break through the barriers of intraductal research through collaboration.
  2. To utilize the advocates, basic scientists, clinicians and epidemiologists who attend the Symposium and challenge each of them to form multidisciplinary working groups to outline their approach to resolving a key barrier that is blocking out collective progress.
  3. To provide seed money for the multidisciplinary working groups to test out hypothesis and further development of proposals and or the working group itself.
  4. To provide training to individuals in the newest techniques related to the intraductal approach. This will be provided in small group interactive workshops with live volunteers.
  5. A pre-symposium workshop will be dedicated to educating the scientific community about “crossing the chasm from animals to women”. Based on our success with the Army of Women, we are poised to educate the basic scientists who have never designed translational research studies or enrolled human subjects. This pre-conference will be open to any researcher who is interested in learning how to conduct studies that could utilize the Army of Women.

2011 will be the 7th Symposium on the Intraductal Approach to Breast Cancer. The first was held in 1999 with 30 attendees in Santa Barbara. In 2007 the conference was moved to Santa Monica to accommodate the local Los Angeles community and attendance grew to 150. Building on the feedback from the past symposiums and the growing interest in this field we expect even a larger turnout in 2011.
As with past symposiums, we intend to recruit from lay groups and offer discounted registration fees for advocates as well as provide scholarships. Advocates will be involved as panelist for the pre-symposium workshop on the Army of Women, as well as the main Symposium. In 2009 several of our research volunteers served as models for demonstrating ductal lavage, ultrasound and ductoscopy. We plan to repeat these workshops.
The goal is to create multidisciplinary, working groups, funded through seed money to investigate some of the most important questions and barriers to the intraductal approach. In addition, the pre-symposium workshop will serve as a catalyst to motivate, educate and inspire basic researchers to tap into the Army of Women as a resource for all of their studies. We will also present results from the 2009 awarded pilot grants at the symposium. In the past, we have had over 90% of participants return for subsequent meetings, and we hope with the new format and challenge to take down some of the key barriers to the intraductal approach, we will have even a larger turnout than before.

Final Report (2011)

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is committed to advancing research and developing resources that explore the normal breast. As part of this effort, the Foundation hosted The 7th International Symposium on the Intraductal Approach to Breast Cancer in Santa Monica, Calif., Feb. 23-26, 2011.

More than 100 clinicians, epidemiologists, pathologists, basic scientists, translational investigators, and breast cancer advocates from 11 countries attended this year’s conference, “The Normal Human Breast: Building Our Understanding from Mice to Women.”

The conference began with a pre-symposium workshop. This daylong program, “Crossing the Chasm from Animal Models to Women: Everything You Need to Know,” was focused on helping researchers move their research from animal models to humans. It addressed topics ranging from resources for tissue and recruitment to the role advocates can play in translational research and opportunities for funding.

Intraductal research has provided a foundation for new ways of thinking about what causes breast cancer and how to prevent it from occurring. This year’s Symposium included presentations and programs designed to foster communication and to encourage attendees to think about how their research interconnects with what is happening in other research fields. Dr. Susan Love underscored the importance of interdisciplinary research when she opened the conference. “It is only by transcending silos,” she said, “that we will be able to get the answers to fundamental questions about the underlying biology of the breast that are necessary to fully understand how breast cancer develops—and how to prevent it.”

Our stated aims of encouraging collaboration by challenging advocates, basic scientists, clinicians and epidemiologists to form multidisciplinary working groups to outline a key barrier that is blocking our collective progress was met. Attendees were excited about the opportunity to apply for funding and this spurred conversation among people who might not have shared ideas and discussion without the need to find collaborators for their working groups. Our aim of providing seed money for the working groups was also met. We awarded $90,000 to six multidisciplinary consortiums formed at the Symposium. We also provided training to attendees in the newest techniques related to the intraductal approach in the small interactive workshops held with live volunteers. The pre-symposium workshop was successful in that it provided useful information to educate basic scientists who are interested in designing translational research studies and/or enrolling human subjects in their research.

A major accomplishment of the Seventh International Symposium on the Intraductal Approach to Breast Cancer was that of the nine mini-specialty and multinational teams, six consortiums received funding. The funding will enable the consortium team members to solidify ideas and obtain initial data on research that would advance our understanding of the anatomy and the physiology of the human breast and how the anatomy and physiology relates to cancer.