Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference Brings Hope and Help to Hundreds in Seattle, WA

Clinical trials took top billing at the fourth annual Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference held September 7th at the Amazon Meeting Center in Seattle. Scientists from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shared new treatments; National Cancer Institute experts and patient advocates provided searchable trial registries and resources; and a Clinical Trials Fair let patients and caregivers learn about the latest cancer trials at treatment centers in Seattle and across the country.

Hutch clinical researcher and SCCA breast cancer oncologist Dr. Julie Gralow kicked things off with a fast-paced overview of genetics, genomics and targeted therapies. Cancer’s mutational shapeshifting means targeted therapies for people with metastatic disease need to constantly be informed by the genomic profiling of tumor tissue, Gralow said. And oncologists need to constantly keep an eye out for the actionable genomic alterations, i.e., cancer mutations that can be targeted with treatment.

“We’ve got to know what’s in the genome and we’ve got to know how it changes over time,” Gralow said. “I want to stress the importance of getting the tumor tissue — serially, over time — to know what we’re...

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