3rd Symposium on the Intraductal Approach to Breast Cancer

Institution: Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
Investigator(s): Susan Love, M.D., M.B.A. -
Award Cycle: 2003 (Cycle IX) Grant #: 9MB-0001 Award: $25,000
Award Type: Joining Forces Conference Award
Research Priorities
Detection, Prognosis and Treatment>Imaging, Biomarkers, and Molecular Pathology: improving detection and diagnosis

Final Report (2003)
The focus of the 3rd Symposium on the Intraductal Approach to Breast Cancer on March 27-30, 2003 was to further support and encourage research on fluids and cells collected from the breast ducts to allow earlier detection of breast cancer. The meetings consisted of both invited speakers and presentations by applicants for grant support. The Susan Love MD Breast Cancer Foundation has a dynamic research program that includes participation by people from all over the world. The researchers that we have encouraged and supported with grant monies come from a variety of scientific backgrounds. These include both basic and clinical sciences, including medicine, oncology, surgery, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Since at least 95% of all breast cancers begin in the lining of the milk duct, these scientists study the fluid and cells inside the breast ducts to find information that will provide the answers to the early diagnosis, treatment, and eradication of breast cancer. As a result of our funding, research is being conducted throughout the United States, as well as in China and in England.

More than 120 researchers, scientists, doctors, and advocates from throughout the world, including many from California, met in Santa Barbara, California to: (1) gather describe their experiences, to share their knowledge, and to stimulate ideas related to the intraductal approach, (2) develop multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaborations, and (3) award new pilot grants to further jumpstart research using the intraductal approach.

The symposium began with a short history of the intraductal approach; following this were sections addressing: (1) Are there Early Markers of Malignancy in Breast Duct Fluid?, (2) Hormone Levels in Breast Duct Fluid: A Window on the Microenvironment?, (3) Anatomy of the Breast Ductal System: Competing Views, (4) Does Cytology of Breast Duct Fluid have Long-Term Follow-up?, and (5) Are there Clinical Applications for the Intraductal Approach? In these sections, 33 researchers presented information about current studies they are conducting using the intraductal approach. The intraductal approach provides direct access to the inside of the lining of the breast where breast cancer begins, and that access has been the catalyst for a number of innovative research studies including predicting breast neoplasia using nipple aspirate fluid (NAF), hormone and response parameters of NAF, routine operative breast endoscopy (ROBE), and molecular detection of breast cancer cells in ductal lavage fluid. During the final session on each day, researchers interested in starting new projects presented their proposals. A multidisciplinary peer review committee met, discussed the 20 presentations, and made decisions about the awards to be given out—the very next day! As a result, the Susan Love Foundation provided a total of $151,760 to support 10 researchers, three of whom are from California.

Research using the intraductal approach is without a doubt an innovative approach that will lead us to a true early detection method for breast cancer and, ultimately, the eradication of breast cancer. This symposium helped to develop multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaborations among researchers, and provided pilot grants to support new research in a wide scope of different projects related to using the intraductal approach. We are confident that this symposium had a positive impact on the direction and success of future learning and research using the intraductal approach in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer.

A full summary of the event is available at the following Web page: www.susanlovemdfoundation.org/about2003.html