A Look Back at the 2023 International ILC Symposium

Collage of photos from ILC Symposium 2023

In September 2023, more than 200 invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates came together in Pittsburgh, PA, for the 2023 International ILC Symposium. An additional 51 people attended the virtual advocate sessions. The conference focused on various topics of importance and relevance to attendees interested in ILC research and clinical trials.

ILC Symposium Day 1

The Symposium began on Thursday, September 28 with ILC Workshops. Topics included:

  • An Overview of the Basic Science and Biology of ILC and Clinical Consideration of Primary/Early Stage ILC led by Dr. Steffi Oesterreich. Dr. Oesterreich was the founding researcher of the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
  • Metastatic ILC: State of the Art Current Treatment Strategies, Imaging and Translational Science led by LBCA Lead Research Advocate and Publications/Clinical Trials Curator Julia Katherine Levine.
  • Progress in ILC Advocacy led by LBCA Executive Director Laurie Hutcheson.
  • Communications and Social Media: Communication Tips, Telling Your Story and More led by LBCA Patient Advocate Advisory Board Member Diane Mapes.
Dr. Steffi Oesterreich
Dr. Steffi Oesterreich

After lunch, Dr. Oesterreich welcomed everyone to the symposium, and Dr. Stuart Schnitt presented the keynote titled Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? This keynote was even more special as it was the inaugural Leigh Pate Memorial Lectureship on Lobular Breast Cancer.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent gaining knowledge via sessions focused on Pathology, Diagnosis, ILC Variants and Lobular Neoplasia; E-cadherin and the ILC Tumor Microenvironment; and a special session on Signaling by Adhesion and Growth Factor Receptors: Their Role in ILC Biology and Treatment. This session was chaired by the European Lobular Breast Cancer Consortium’s (ELBCC) Dr. Patrick Derksen, who is also an LBCA scientific advisor.

ILC Poster Session Hosted by LBCA

The first day of the symposium ended with an ILC research poster session hosted by LBCA. Watch LBCA Board of Directors Chair Tracy Cushing discuss the poster LBCA presented titled Individuals with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Raise Their Voices About ILC and Surgery.

ILC Symposium Day 2

The second day of the ILC Symposium began with a keynote by Dr. Cathrin Brisken titled A New Look at Lobular Carcinoma Development: Through the Teat. The morning continued with a session focusing on Modeling ILC and one on How Researchers, Clinicians and Patient Advocates Can Accelerate Lobular Breast Cancer Research. This session dedicated to LBCA Founder Leigh Pate included moving tributes from researchers and patient advocate panelists about how Leigh had touched and inspired each of them. Leigh passed away in June 2022.

A second poster session took place during lunch. Watch medical student Simran Sandhu discuss her submitted ILC poster titled Racial Disparities in Survival in Lobular Breast Cancer. LBCA funded researcher Dr. David Lim was a co-author of the abstract and poster.


The afternoon sessions included a panel discussion titled Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice (DEIJ) Aspects in ILC, and presentations on several other topics including the Unique Imaging Modalities in ILC; Genetics of ILC – Use of Clinical Specimens and Data; and Challenges in Treatment of ILC.

ILC Symposium Day 3

Saturday, September 30, marked the final day of the ILC Symposium. The day began with attendees having breakfast over round table discussions on multiple ILC-related topics.

Participants then moved into the auditorium to hear sessions addressing Local Treatment of ILC and Treatment Resistance and Metastases. The symposium ended with clinicians sharing ILC case studies and an important conversation about research priorities and potential collaborations in a forum in which the voice of the patient was definitely heard.

LBCA was proud to provide travel scholarships to 13 breast cancer patient advocates to enable all to attend the symposium. LBCA was also proud to be an ILC Symposium sponsor and support four other patient advocate and researcher speakers’ attendance.

The ILC Symposium was made possible through the work of the local and international organizing committees, the patient advocates, and collaboration between UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, Magee-Womens Research Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Portions of the 2023 ILC Symposium will soon be available for viewing. Please note that a virtual panel presentation recapping the ILC Symposium science in lay terms is scheduled for November 15 from 10:30am – 12:30pm ET. Stay tuned for more information about how to register.

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