Invasive Lobular Carcinoma finally merited a full session at the world’s largest breast cancer conference, the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. LBCA proudly sponsored this session and assisted many ILC patient advocates to attend. The panel was moderated by LBCA Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) founder and ILC researcher Dr. Steffi Oesterrich, and included SAB Chair and oncologist/researcher Dr. Jason Mouabbi, translational researcher Dr. Christine Desmedt, Lobular Breast Cancer Patient Advocate Siobhan Freeney–who represented LBCA’s sister advocate group the European Lobular Breast Cancer Consortium Advocates, and breast cancer surgeon Dr. Tari King.
The session covered the latest information on what is known of the biology of lobular breast cancer, what is known about genetic mutations in lobular and included discussion of certain proteins that are found in ILC more than in IDC and what that might mean for future targeted therapies. They also described the challenges with imaging because of how the lack of the protein E-cadherin makes ILC much harder to detect and monitor, challenges in surgery and obtaining negative margins, and some of the peculiar sites that ILC can metastasize to. The panelists also updated the attendees on promising ILC clinical trials soon to open.
The information was informative and suggested an accelerating interest in studying and finding a treatment for ILC. The nearly full ballroom of attendees included many ILC patient advocates including some LBCA travel scholarship awardees and LBCA Local Advocacy Team representatives – the largest number of LBCA associated volunteers to ever attend.
This SABCS conference had another first for LBCA – we had a booth! We had brought a lot of printed materials and this gave us great new exposure and enabled us to share resources that we have on the For Patients page of the LBCA website with individuals with lobular breast cancer. We also distributed small business cards with the LBCA URL so that oncologists had something lightweight and small to take back home and share with their patients with ILC so they can find our community and resources. We were heartened at the number of oncologists who stopped by and were surprised to learn about LBCA but upon doing so were eager to connect their patients to us. We were grateful for the many patient advocates who took shifts at our booth to ensure that there was always someone there to talk with people – and journalists – who found their way to us. We were happy to also use our booth as well as the advocate lounge as a meeting place for the many lobular breast cancer advocates. We even found our way outside the convention center for a bit of fun and exploration of the San Antonio downtown and riverwalk.
On the last full conference day, LBCA presented the results of our ILC patient experience survey about ILC and surgical decision making along with a corresponding poster that gave voice to some of the themes we heard in the comments from over 1,000 respondents.
Our two posters can be viewed and downloaded as pdfs (click on the poster to download it) below. And stay tuned: We will be sharing lay summaries of the other 20+ posters focusing on ILC research in early 2024.