Newswise — The fifth annual Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference invites participants from around the world to discuss ongoing research, showcase new ideas from young scientists, and bring together advocates who are working with metastatic breast cancer patients. This year, the conference will be hosted by the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore on Nov. 15 and 16.

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference was established in 2014 by Theresa’s Research Foundation, with leadership from Matthew Ellis, Ph.D., M.B., McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine, and Danny Welch, Ph.D., at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The first conference was held at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2014. For the past three years, it was hosted by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

The conference is unique from other breast cancer-centered conferences due to its specific focus on addressing metastatic disease as a major, but yet unmet, clinical need.

For 2018, it moves to Baltimore under the guidance of Vered Stearns, M.D., and Andrew Ewald, Ph.D., at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Registration for the conference can be done at the Johns Hopkins Medicine website.

Stearns said the goal of this year’s conference is to bring together a diverse audience in a collaborative environment to seek curative approaches for metastatic breast cancer patients.

“There has been frustration on the patient side and from advocates with the lack of emphasis with metastatic/stage IV breast cancer,” Stearns said. “Less than 7 percent of funding goes toward metastatic breast cancer research. We want to bring in the best researchers, the best ideas, and invite patients and patient advocates to Johns Hopkins to find new ways and get them into the thought process.”

The conference will feature discussions about therapy, predictive models, drug development and more. The keynote addresses, one each day, will focus on how reprogramming the tumor microenvironment determines metastatic progress of breast cancer and management of metastatic inherited breast cancer.

Invited speakers from the United States and Europe will bring their knowledge and expertise to the conference and seek to inspire conversation and collaboration on new approaches regarding metastatic breast cancer.

“Metastatic breast cancer needs a dedicated, long-term effort to find curative approaches. This conference helps to benchmark these efforts and create the collaborative research environment that is a prerequisite for progress,” Ellis said.

Abstract submissions are encouraged, and the top five will be chosen for oral presentation during a Friday morning session. The others will be on display as posters. The submission period will open July 5 and close Sept. 5.

The conference will be held at the Thomas B. Turner Auditorium on the Johns Hopkins medical campus in Baltimore. It is co-provided by the Baylor College of Medicine and Theresa’s Research Foundation. For more information, visit the Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference website.

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