Miami Breast Cancer Conference Founder Keeps Focus on Future

As the Miami Breast Cancer Conference enters its 29th year, Osman continues to organize the gathering and pack the 4-day meeting with faculty speakers.

Daniel A. Osman, MD

Today, the concept of breast conserving surgery for women with early-stage breast cancer is a routinely discussed option between patients and their physicians. In the late 1970s, though, the lumpectomy was a fairly new procedure that was not well understood as an alternative to radical mastectomy.

But Daniel A. Osman, MD, a breast cancer surgeon in Miami, Florida, believed that this new minimally invasive surgery was revolutionary. And when he could not find an existing conference where he could share his knowledge with other surgeons who also had been performing the procedure, he decided to start his own conference.

As the Miami Breast Cancer Conference enters its 29th year, Osman continues to organize the gathering and pack the 4-day meeting with faculty speakers who can provide attendees with a mix of groundbreaking science and practical information for clinicians.

“We have a saying: Whatever you learn by Friday, you can use on Monday,” said Osman.

This year’s agenda does not shy away from the latest and most controversial topics. Osman said the faculty will discuss axillary and sentinel node dissection in light of the results of the Z11 trial. Other current trends that will be discussed at the conference include the use of molecular profiling and genomics to personalize patient care, advanced screening and diagnostic tools, and the latest techniques in reconstructive surgery.

Speakers are allotted 15 minutes for each presentation. The program was intentionally designed to accommodate as many speakers as possible while keeping things moving at a brisk pace.

While the conference places a high emphasis on surgical oncology, the meeting is divided into 2 separate tracks. The surgical oncology track will tackle such topics as emerging functional breast imaging, management of stage IV breast cancer, mammoplastic techniques in oncoplastic surgery, and management of central breast tumors.

Workshops on surgical tools and techniques were offered at the Miami Breast Cancer Conference last year.

The medical oncology track will cover topics such as emerging therapies for triplenegative breast cancer, new therapeutic topics for HER2-positive breast cancer, models of discovery to reverse drug resistance, and the roles of newer antimicrotubule agents.

While the conference caters to practical knowledge for surgeons, Osman’s instincts for choosing material that will have a great impact on the care of patients with breast cancer tend to be correct.

According to Robert DerHagopian, MD, currently the medical director of the Baptist Health Breast Center in Miami and one of the co-chairs, the conference included presentations on the HER2/ neu gene and the genetic links to breast cancer years before they were routinely discussed in practice.

“That information is now a standard of care, not just for medical oncologists but for everybody working with breast cancer patients, including surgeons,” DerHagopian said. “Dan has a knack of knowing what’s going to be useful to us in the future.”

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