San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium set for Dec. 9-13

SAN ANTONIO (December 9, 2009) — In the world of academic medicine, the name “San Antonio” is synonymous with the phrase “breast cancer research.” The reason is the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium to be held today through Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, 200 E. Market Street.

Faculty from the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio are taking advantage of the chance to present their work to an estimated 8,500 people from more than 90 countries, without having to leave town or even pay a registration fee to attend the meeting (presentation schedules below and attached). Those are among the “perks” that come with being an institutional sponsor for this high-profile meeting, now in its 32nd year.
Media highlights. The press office will host four press conferences highlighting important news from the meeting (schedule follows):
• Bisphosphonates: 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10
• Drugs in the Pipeline: 8:00 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11
• New Treatment Paradigms: 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11
• Patient Management and Prognosis: 8:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
• Media Q&A with Dennis Slamon, M.D., Ph.D, 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 (topic: long-term survival, disease-free survival and cardiac toxicity results from his latest research with Herceptin.
The press office has selected additional abstracts that may be of interest to the media and will be highlighting them as separate press releases. One release features the work of UT Health Science Center faculty Rajeshwar Rao Tekmal, Ph.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the Carl J. Pauerstein Professor in Reproductive Research. (AACR press release attached)
UT Health Science Center Presentations. Faculty are making 16 presentations over the next four days. Oral presentations are listed below; poster presentations are in the two-page table attached.

Oral Presentations
Date, time, place Faculty Title of presentation
Dec. 10, 12:30 – 1:35 pm
Exhibit Hall D, Clinical Science Forum Peter Ravdin, M.D., Ph.D. Are there groups of patients who don’t benefit from chemotherapy?
Dec. 12, 9:00 – 9:30 am
Exhibit Hall D, Plenary Lecture 3 Tyler Curiel, M.D., M.P.H. New paradigms in tumor immunotherapy
Dec. 12, 11:00 – 11:15 am
Exhibit Hall D, General Session 5 Rajeshwar Rao Tekmal, Ph.D. Targeting aldose reductase: a novel strategy in treating endocrine resistance using combination therapy

View a comprehensive listing of the presentations at the symposium’s Health Science Center-sponsored Web site: AACR will be conducting interviews with researchers, including Dr. Tyler Curiel, throughout the symposium. Recordings of these events and interviews will be posted to AACR Scientific Podcast feed. You can subscribe to this feed through the following links:
AACR Scientific Podcast RSS Reader:
AACR RSS News Feed:
The Web site had nearly 56,000 visits in November, according to a monthly report on the Web site’s usage from Director of Symposia Rich Markow from the health science center’s Office of Continuing Medical Education, Some 43,000 downloads were reported.

Meeting as economic generator. While the symposium benefits science, it also enhances San Antonio’s economy. According to statistics from the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau (SAVCB), those who attended the 2008 breast cancer meeting spent $10.7 million while they were here, making it the city’s second largest convention last year. Expenditures per delegate were estimated at $1,188.05, which includes all but airfare. Hotels sold 5,032 sleeping rooms on the peak night. The SAVCB noted that because December is typically a slow month for tourism, revenue from this meeting is particularly valuable.
This past May, the Bureau honored the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium with its first-ever Con Corazon Award. The award is dedicated to “an organization that has demonstrated dedication and passion in bringing long-term prestigious exposure to San Antonio.”
Leadership. Drs. Curiel and Tekmal served on the symposium’s executive committee and planning committee, along with Charles A. Coltman, Jr., M.D., professor of medicine, one of the symposium founder and CTRC president emeritus. Clinical professor of medicine Peter Ravdin, M.D., Ph.D., also is an executive committee member. Co-directors of the symposium are Dr. Coltman and C. Kent Osborne, MD, Director, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine.

History. The symposium was founded in 1978 by the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center. (That first year 141 physicians and surgeons attended from five states.) As the meeting grew, so did the need for more sponsors. In 2005, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston became a partner. In 2007, the American Association for Cancer Research came on board, committed to increasing the presence of basic scientists. The name changed to the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the nation’s leading academic research and treatment centers, serving more than 4.4 million people in the high-growth corridor of Central and South Texas including Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. CTRC is one of the elite cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, and is one of the only three in Texas. A world leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development is internationally recognized for conducting one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in the clinical and/or preclinical development of many of the cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

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