The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) got underway in earnest on Wednesday with a wide array of keynote lectures, educational workshops and presentations of the latest study data. With an attendance of more than 7,000, SBACS is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to breast cancer.

Starting with an opening press conference at the punishing hour of 7:15 am, researchers reported findings from studies looking at new approaches to treating breast cancer, especially hard-to-treat recurrent or metastatic disease.

Wednesday’s highlights included: 

  • Kisqali (ribociclib) added to endocrine therapy nearly doubled progression-free survival for premenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer in the MONALEESA-7 study—the first dedicated trial of initial therapy with a CDK4/6 inhibitor for this younger population. 
  • Using the checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) with Herceptin (trastuzumab) reduced disease progression in women with advanced Herceptin-resistant HER2-positive breast cancer in the PANACEA trial, but it only worked for those with tumors expressing the PD-L1 biomarker.

Some of these studies will be covered in more detail on Cancer Health in the coming days. Throughout the week, check out our tweets at @cancerhealthmag and follow the conference using hashtag #SABCS17.

Liz at SABCS17

On Thursday I’m looking forward to a noontime session where breast cancer patient advocates will have an opportunity to interact with officials from the Food and Drug Administration and learn more about the drug development and approval process. I also hope to check out the community groups and cancer centers represented in the exhibit hall.