2020 Virtual Program


Live Webcasts, May 19 - June 16, 2020




Plenary Sessions

Summit Opening and President’s Plenary

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00pm ET

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:

  • Wanda Lucas, NBCC Board of Directors, Metropolitan Washington, DC Chapter of NBCC
  • Fran Visco, JD, President, National Breast Cancer Coalition



NBCC Policy Advocacy in Response to COVID-19

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 1:45 - 2:00 pm ET

This session will discuss the key actions that NBCC has taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the launch of, and preliminary results from its ongoing breast cancer patient/caregiver stakeholder survey and the potential healthcare and public policy implications. It will also highlight how NBCC has been educating advocates about current healthcare guidelines for breast cancer care implemented in response to the current pandemic and the current evidence underlying these recommendations.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Michelle Tregear, PhD, Chief Programs Officer, National Breast Cancer Coalition
  • Melanie Wyne, JD, Chief Policy Officer, National Breast Cancer Coalition



Plenary Session (1): The ARTEMIS Project® in 2020 and Beyond 

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm ET

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
  • Michele Atlan, President, Breast Cancer Care & Research Fund (BCCRF)

  • Joy Simha, NBCC Team Leader, Young Survival Coalition


Plenary Session (2): Perspectives on Oncology Drug Approval in 2020 

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 1:30 - 3:00 pm ET

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, SJD, LLM, JD, MBA, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Gregg Gonsalves, PhD, Assistant Professor in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Associate (Adjunct) Professor of Law and Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School
  • Jonathan Kimmelman, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Ethics, McGill University
  • Judi Hirshfield-Bartek, R.N. MS, OCN, NBCC Board of Directors, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

  • Patricia Haugen, BA, NBCC Team Leader, MN, NBCC Breast Cancer Advocate


Plenary Session (3): Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes for Disparities in Breast Cancer

Date/Time: Monday, June 1, 2020, 12:00 – 1:30 pm ET

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:

  • Otis Brawley, MD, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Oncology and Epidemiology, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
  • Lisa Newman, MD, MPH, Chief of Breast Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian
  • Alexandra Shields, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Associate Professor (Institute for Health Policy), Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Valencia Robinson, NBCC Board of Directors, Breast Cancer Care and Research Fund
  • Ivis Febus-Sampayo, BA, NBCC Board of Directors, SHARE 


Plenary Session (4): 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?

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET (Part 1)

Confirmed Speakers:

  • H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, Senior Investigator, Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

  • Michele Rakoff, NBCC Board of Directors, Breast Cancer Care and Research Fund


Date/Time: Thursday, June 4, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET (Part 2)

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Kenneth Kinzler, PhD, Professor of Oncology, Director, Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins University

  • Carol Matyka, MA, NBCC Board of Directors, CARE Advocates Network 

Political Plenary (5): What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Health Care System and the 2020 Election?

Date/Time: TBD

This panel discussion will weave together four themes: (1) Healtchare disparities highlighted by the pandemic; (2) Voter sentiments in 2020 (Polling); (3) Heath care system needs change; and (4) Public policy solutions.


Lobby Day Briefing

Date/Time: Thursday, June 11, 2020, 1:30 - 2:30 pm ET

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
  • Christine Carpenter, NBCC Board of Directors; Cedar Valley Cancer Committee: Beyond PinkTeam







Secrets to Effective Advocacy from a Capitol Hill Staffer

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 20, 2:30 - 3:30 pm ET

Learn the secrets of 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.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Dana Richter, JD, Legislative Assistant Health, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

  • Nancy Ryan, NBCC Team Leader, NH, NBCC Advocate

Finding Your Niche: A Welcome Orientation for New Advocates

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 4:30 – 5:30 pm ET

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.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Beth Emery, JDNBCC Board of Directors Alternate, Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation 
  • Rose Mari Sitko, NBCC Board Member, Vice President of Michigan Breast Cancer Coalition


Advocacy in the Digital Age

Date/Time: Thursday, May 21, 2020, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

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.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Melissa Horn, MPA, State and Local Policy Representative, National Association of Realtors
  • Bethany Zell, NBCC Team Leader, ME, NBCC Breast Cancer Advocate



Models of Breast Cancer 

Date/Time: Friday, May 22, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Learn about how breast cancer is modeled in labs to study biology of cancer and to develop and test therapies, from basic tissue culture and animal models to development of tumor models derived directly from patients. 

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 

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Learn about how patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and organoid models are rapidly supplanting long-established traditional cell lines as preferred models for conducting basic and translational preclinical research. Learn about the work at Dr. Welm’s laboratory which is using real-time modeling of human breast cancers and exploring how this can be used to personalize cancer care.

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



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

Date/Time: Thursday, May 28, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most commonly diagnosed type of invasive breast cancer (~10-15% of all breast cancers). Yet, less is known about the disease. Learn about the unique biology of lobular breast cancer, as well as some of the challenges to studying ILC, both in the laboratory and in clinical trials, and implications for the clinical management of the disease. 

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
  • Leigh Pate, Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance

  • Rose Marie Sitko, NBCC Board Member, Vice President of Michigan Breast Cancer Coalition


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

Date/Time: Friday, June 5, 2020, 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET

New agents to treat breast cancer have largely been approved in the metastatic setting first. Approval of these drugs for use in early-stage breast cancer then typically follow after years of subsequent research and results from large randomized trials conducted in the adjuvant setting. Hear from an expert about how pathological complete response in the neoadjuvant setting is now being used as a surrogate endpoint for prediction of long-term clinical benefit, in the regulatory approval of drugs for 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)

  • Kim Tankersley, NBCC Team Leader, CA, NBCC Breast Cancer Advocate


Mechanisms of Endocrine Resistance in the Age of CDK4/6 Inhibitors

Date/Time: Monday, June 8, 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

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)


DOD Appropriations - Perspectives from Capitol Hill

Date/Time: Tuesday, June 9, 1:00—2:00 pm ET

Come hear about the Department of Defense Appropriations process from the Capitol Hill staffer who leads the DOD Peer Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program "Dear Colleague" letter. This congressional appropriation is a top public policy priority for NBCC each year.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Katrina Martell, BA, Press Secretary & Legislative Assistant Health, Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

  • Donna Duncan, MBA, NBCC Board of Directors, Linda Creed Breast Cancer

Research Advocacy - What It Is and How to Get Involved 

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 1:30 - 3:00 pm ET

Hear from the DoD/BCRP Consumer Reviewer Administrator about what is involved in becoming a peer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. Hear also from NBCC advocates who have been peer reviewers and all the steps that are involved. What does it take to prepare yourself for this important research advocate role?

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Amy Klimas, M.S., Consumer Reviewer Administrator, Peer Review and Science Management, General Dynamics Information Technology
  • Tracy Solak, JD, NBCC Advocate and DoD/BCRP Consumer Reviewer
  • Marylinn Minor, Project Manager, NBCC Advocate and DoD/BCRP Consumer Reviewer

  • Beth Emery, JD, NBCC Board of Directors Alternate, Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation



Team Leader Meeting

Date/Time: Monday, June 15, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00pm ET



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

Date/Time: TBD

Confirmed Speakers

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




Project LEAD® Workshop


Immunology, Immune Evasion, and Emerging Insights in Breast Cancer 

Date/Time: Tuesday,  June 2, 2020 , 2:30 – 4:00pm ET

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