2020 Preliminary Program

Working titles/topics shown. Final titles and speakers will follow.


Saturday, May 2—Monday May 4, 2020

Summit Hours:

Saturday, May 2:          12:45 pm -  2:45 pm (LEADgrads Only Session)
                                       3:00 pm - 7:15 pm (Main Program)
Sunday, May 3:             8:00 am - 6:15 pm
Monday, May 4:             8:00 am - 6:15 pm
Tuesday, May 5:            7:00 am - 6:00pm (Lobby Day - schedule may vary)


Project LEAD® Workshop

Immunology, Immune Evasion, and Emerging Insights in Breast Cancer 

This LEAD® Grads-only session will explore one of the most important advances in cancer therapy – immune-oncology, and how researchers are learning to tap into a patient’s own immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. This session will also explore key challenges with cancer immunotherapy research and our current understanding of the complex interactions between cancer and the immune system and the development of improved treatment options for patients with cancer. 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Jennifer Guerriero, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Director Breast Immunology Laboratory, Women’s Cancer Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute  



Plenary Sessions


President’s Plenary 

President Fran Visco will discuss the key accomplishment from NBCC’s Deadline 2020 and the next phase of focused implementation toward NBCC’s ultimate goal of ending breast cancer.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Fran Visco, JD, President, National Breast Cancer Coalition


Plenary Session (1): Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes for Disparities in Breast Cancer 

This session will explore what is known about the root causes for disparities in breast cancer outcomes and public policy changes that must be implemented to begin moving the needle.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Lisa Newman, MD, MPH, Chief of Breast Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian

Plenary Session (2): Finding Cancer Early. What Does It Buy and Cost Us? 

Early detection of breast cancer has long been discussed as essential to reduce mortality from breast cancer. To that end, scientists, researchers, and clinicians have pursued increasingly more sensitive screening technologies to identify breast cancer well before clinical manifestations are apparent. But earlier and earlier detection comes at the cost of identifying more and more abnormalities that might never go on to become clinically meaningful in an individual’s lifetime—a problem referred to as overdiagnosis. Are we working toward the right goal and who is benefiting under our current system? Are there alternative emerging technologies that might improve the identification of people most likely to benefit?

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Kenneth Kinzler, PhD, Professor of Oncology, Director, Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins University
  • H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, Senior Investigator, Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Plenary Session (3): Perspectives on Oncology Drug Approval in 2020 

Over the last several decades, a number of regulatory changes have been implemented within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an effort to help speed the release of new and innovative therapies to patients in need. And the field of breast cancer has frequently been at the forefront of important advances in oncology, including the development/approval of the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab for HER2 positive and the CDK4/6 inhibitors for hormone receptor positive breast cancers. But some question the value of many drugs entering the market, especially given their mounting costs to patients and society. This session will explore varied perspectives on FDA regulatory changes, what these changes were intended to accomplish, and whether the current approval mechanisms are promoting the development of drugs that benefit patients. 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Jonathan Darrow, JD, JD, MBA, LLM, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law (PORTAL), Harvard University
  • Gregg Gonsalves, PhD, Assistant Professor in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases as well as an Associate (Adjunct) Professor of Law and Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School, co-director of the Yale Law School/Yale School of Public Health Global Health Justice Partnership and the Yale Law School/Yale School of Public Health/Yale Medical School Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency.


Plenary Session (4): How Did We Get Here? The Status and Business of Breast Cancer

This session will explore the history and progress achieved in the treatment of breast cancer and the current business model that underlies the diagnosis and management of the disease. What types of drugs are we using and what benefits versus toxicities do they deliver? As we persevere to end breast cancer, should we be fighting to preserve the current framework or to design a different one? What needs to change to make significant progress and how can advocates pave the way?


Plenary Session (5): The
ARTEMIS Project® in 2020 and Beyond 

The Artemis Project® is a collaboration of researchers, advocates, and other key stakeholders who set priorities and design and implement research plans that focus on two areas: prevention of breast cancer and prevention of metastasis. Learn about what has been accomplished under the Deadline 2020 campaign and where it is headed in 2020 and beyond.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Keith Knutson, PhD, Co-director, Mayo Clinic Immune Monitoring Core and Director, Mayo Clinic Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Program, Mayo Clinic
  • Cyrus Ghajar, PhD, Director, Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments (LSM2), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Alana Welm, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, an Investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Co-Leader of the Cell Response and Regulation Program at HCI


Plenary Session (6)
: Healthcare on the Ballot

Healthcare helped propel many freshman members to Congress in 2018 and it remains a top issue with voters in 2020.  But the conversation has changed over two years; while in the last midterms health care debates revolved around protecting the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, after GOP attempts to repeal it, presidential candidates ahead of 2020 are focusing more on overhauling the entire health care system. Representatives of presidential campaigns will discuss their healthcare platforms and what role they see healthcare policy playing in the 2020 election.



Lobby Day Briefing

When advocates visit Capitol Hill in large numbers, at the same time and around the same policy issue, they have a better chance of their advocacy being heard. This briefing session will provide essential tips and resources for the day ahead. Whether you’re a Lobby Day veteran or it’s your first year, this session will be vital to prepare participants for a successful experience.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Fran Visco, JD, President, NBCC
  • Melanie Wyne, JD, Chief Policy Officer, NBCC
  • Jennifer Berzok, Consultant, NBCC






Research Advocacy - What It Is and How to Get Involved

Patient Engagement and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Hear from FDA staff about how the FDA is partnering with patients in a variety of initiatives to improve the delivery of innovative medical treatments. How are patients being engaged? How can you become engaged?


Patient-Centered Outcomes in Oncology Drug Development

The Role of Pathological Complete Response in Drug Development and Regulatory Approval in Early Breast Cancer 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Tatiana Prowell, MD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University; Medical Officer and Breast Cancer Scientific Liaison to the Oncology Center of Excellence at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Models of Breast Cancer 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Alana Welm, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, an Investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Co-Leader of the Cell Response and Regulation Program at HCI

Precision Oncology – Using Patient-derived Models for Personalized Therapy Choice in Advanced Breast Cancer 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Alana Welm, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, an Investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Co-Leader of the Cell Response and Regulation Program at HCI


Mechanisms of Endocrine Resistance in the Age of CDK4/6 Inhibitors
Learn what we know about the mechanisms of endocrine resistance and how the addition of CDK4/6 inhibitors are changing the research questions involved in this research.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Ayesha Shajahan-Haq, PhD, Co-director: MS Program in Tumor Biology, Georgetown University. Scientific Adviser: Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates (GBCA)


Insights into Breast Cancer Subtypes and the Unique Biology of Lobular Breast Cancer 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Co-Leader Cancer Biology Program, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Co-Director and Director of Education Women's Cancer Research Center, Magee-Women’s Research Institute

Secrets to Effective Advocacy from a Capitol Hill Staffer
Learn the secrets to effective advocacy straight from a Capitol Hill healthcare staffer. What works to get their boss' attention? How to get a member of Congress to say yes to your requests? How to keep your relationship going once you are home? Come learn tips and tricks to sharpen your advocacy skills.

Advocacy in the Digital Age
Learn about new digital tools to reach out to your elected representatives. What works and what doesn't to capture a member's attention? Learn about new NBCC tools available to make you a more effective advocate.

Breast Cancer Caucus - Gender on the Ballot
Women of all ages and political affiliations - particularly millennials and women of color - have become more politically engaged since 2016, a trend that is likely to continue in 2020. A representative of the "Gender on the Ballot" Project will discuss recent polling trends and their implications for the 2020 elections. NBCC will announce its election year Breast Cancer Caucus and how you can get involved.

Tissue Specificity in Metastases – Update on the SpecifiCancer CRUK Grand Challenge (Special Session)

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Karen Cichowski, PhD, Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Professor, Medicine/Genetics, Brigham And Women's Hospital 

Finding Your Niche: A Welcome Orientation for New Leaders 
Led by NBCC board members and advocates, this session will help first-time attendees navigate the conference program and get the very most out of the many opportunities presented at the conference. Special attention will be given to key plenary sessions, must-attend workshops, lobby day and special events.



Day 4 Program – Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Annual Lobby Day