The American Association of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) held its annual meeting in Chicago in June 2019. Two advocates from LBCA’s Steering Committee attended this leading conference of 40,000 oncology professionals who research and treat all cancers representing patients with lobular breast cancer. LBCA advocates Diane Mapes and Flora Migyanka distributed brochures, met and networked with other advocates and researchers and spread the word about lobular breast cancer.
Read on for an ILC research update, an interview with an ASCO presenter and hear from a lobular advocate as she is interviewed at ASCO 2019.
Research News from ASCO on Lobular Breast Cancer
Lobular breast cancer was featured in poster titled “Survival outcomes of premenopausal patients diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma” authored by Dr. Hee Jeong Kim of the University of Ulsan College of Medicine and ASAN Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea with Dr. Otto Metzger of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues.
In an interview with Diane Mapes about the research and poster, LBCA Scientific Advisor Otto Metzger, MD said, “This study basically tells us that lobular, again, is a different disease. It’s associated with a pattern of late recurrence. This data doesn’t tell us what the causes are but do generate hypotheses: Premenopausal women diagnosed with lobular carcinoma might need more effective and/or longer duration of endocrine therapy, but this remains speculative at this point.”
Advocate Flora Migyanka was present for the poster presentation as Dr. Kim fielded questions about her research from fellow scientists and breast cancer research advocates. “Patients with lobular are so fortunate to have committed researchers around the world like Dr. Kim working to better understand lobular breast cancers and refine therapies for patients,” Migyanka said.
Interview with ASCO Presenter Peter Lucas
Diane Mapes interviewed Dr. Peter Lucas, MD, PhD University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Dr. Lucas presented at ASCO on the Natural History and Pathology of Rare Breast Cancer Subtypes during an educational session on Uncommon and Rare Breast Cancers. His talk included a discussion on Lobular Breast Cancer as an understudied unique subtype.
Diane Mapes interviewed Dr. Lucas on how lobular is finally getting some long overdue molecular scrutiny and how we, as members of the LBCA, can help get the word out about ILC’s differences.
“There was a time when people felt that lobular and ductal breast cancers were exactly the same,” Dr. Lucas said. “… But we’ve come to realize more recently … (lobular) is a special type of breast cancer and deserves a deeper understanding of its molecular drivers, its response to therapy and its natural history.”
Mapes and Lucas discussed some of the challenges of being a patient with a less common cancer. “When you’re dealing with something that’s less common, the more patients can be their own advocate … the more they can push for more nuanced responses from their caregivers to make sure their particular situation is being considered more carefully,” Lucas said.
Read the full interview with Dr. Peter Lucas.
LBCA Advocate Interview
LBCA advocate and lobular patient Diane Mapes was interviewed by Rebecca Seago-Coyle, Editorial and Community Director of Patient Power *, about her diagnosis with lobular breast cancer (ILC), the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance and her take on research presented at ASCO on ILC.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW BELOW
*Patient Power is an organization that connect patients and their care partners to an active and knowledgeable community of cancer experts and patient advocates across a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer. Its aim is to help patients and care partners feel more empowered to advocate for themselves. Through video interviews, online forums, blogs and webcasts, Patient Power covers everything from the latest research and treatment news to patient stories and strategies for coping with cancer in everyday life.