Advocate Leadership Summit

Live Webcasts, May 19-June 16, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, NBCC hosted a 2020 Virtual Advocate Leadership Summit from May 19, 2020 through June 15, 2020, culminating in the first Virtual Lobby Day on June 16, 2020.

Access to recorded Virtual Summit events continues to be available at NBCC’s Virtual Event Center:

This year’s program included an array of exciting plenary sessions featuring some of the leading voices in breast cancer research and advocacy. Drs. Otis Brawley, Lisa Newman, and Alexandra Shields joined NBCC advocate Valencia Robinson in a powerful discussion about the causes and impacts of breast cancer disparities. Drs. Cyrus Ghajar, Keith Knutson, and Alana Welm presented on their work with NBCC’s Artemis Project and how the research inspired by this program is leading the way on important breast cancer developments, including exciting progress on a preventative vaccine.

Summit participants attended important skill and knowledge-building workshops via Zoom. They heard from Capitol Hill staffers on important topics, such as how to engage elected officials and how to effectively use social media and online tools in their advocacy—skills put to immediate use during the first-ever Virtual Lobby Day! Advocates also learned how to navigate the complicated Department of Defense appropriations process.

On the science front, Dr. Alana Welm gave two informative talks on the models used to study breast cancer and Dr. Steffi Oesterreich and advocate Leigh Pate presented on the unique biology of lobular breast cancer.

Dr. Jennifer Guerriero conducted a Project LEAD workshop on immuno-oncology and how researchers are learning to tap into a patient’s own immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. This session explored our current understanding of the complex interactions between cancer and the immune system and the development of improved treatment options for patients with cancer.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch discussed the paradox of breast cancer screening and mortality rates.  While screening may detect small tumors earlier, it does not result in a substantial decline in the detection of late-stage cancers or mortality rates.

Dr. Kenneth Kinzler presented a session on how liquid biopsies are being studied as a way to identify breast cancer even earlier, which triggered an extensive discussion about the current limitations of such an approach, however impressive the underlying technology and scientific expertise that has gone into developing the technology.

Despite the virtual format, participants were able to connect with one another through Zoom networking sessions, which provided an opportunity to share ideas and make social connections with other advocates.

Thank you again to everyone who joined us for the Summit. You truly made this event a success, and we look forward to seeing you all in person again next spring!