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Breakthroughs in Breast Cancer: Susan G. Komen Scholars and Studies Highlighted at ASCO 2024 

Latest innovations in clinical cancer research discussed at American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 

Scholars and studies funded by Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, showcased cutting-edge breast cancer research aimed at advancing the field at the ASCO Annual Meeting 2024. Organized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, this premier conference annually convenes over 40,000 oncologists and stakeholders worldwide. 

Dr. Tarah Ballinger, a Komen researcher, unveiled groundbreaking updates from the EAZ171 clinical trial led by Bryan Schneider, a distinguished Komen Scholar. The study, to be featured in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, tackles a pressing breast cancer disparity in a side effect of chemotherapy called taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy (TIPN), which is more prevalent among Black women. This trial found that the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel was more likely to cause TIPN in Black patients than docetaxel. Dr. Schneider’s approach not only enhances treatment efficacy but also prioritizes patients’ quality of life, showcasing significant progress in putting the patient perspective at the forefront of breast cancer research. Reflecting on his work, Dr. Schneider emphasizes, “What sets EAZ171 apart is its unique focus on not just treatment effectiveness but also its potential impact on devastating side effects and quality of life.” 

Moreover, new research from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, supported by Susan G. Komen, offered promising insights for young breast cancer survivors. The Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study revealed that 73% of survivors attempting pregnancy post-treatment were successful, underscoring the importance of addressing fertility concerns in survivorship care as well as for young breast cancer patients beginning treatment. 

At ASCO 2024, Komen emphasized its dedication to patients and professionals through its Patient Care Center, research initiatives, and advocacy. A focal educational goal was to share information with the community about ShareForCures®, Komen’s breast cancer research registry connecting researchers with information from people who have or had breast cancer. 

“The ASCO Annual Meeting allows Komen to not only showcase the impact of our research investment but also to invite the breast cancer community to rally around our common goals of advancing patient outcomes, improving and expanding treatment options, and providing more personalized care,” said Victoria Wolodzko Smart, senior vice president of mission at Susan G. Komen. “None of us can achieve our goals alone; Komen is committed to working with a united front of patient advocates, researchers, clinicians and advocacy organizations to eradicate aggressive breast cancers and achieve health equity. ASCO’s annual meeting is an incredible forum for furthering collaborations, including Komen’s work with the ASCO Quality Oncology Practice Initiative, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, TOUCH, the Black Breast Cancer Alliance, and through support of Union for International Cancer Control’s (UICC) Breast Cancer Programme to promote capacity-building of patient advocacy in low- and middle-income countries. 

Komen’s investment in breast cancer research is nearly $1.1 billion, surpassing that of any other nonprofit organization and ranking second only to the U.S. government. To learn more on how we’re accelerating discoveries to save lives and enhance outcomes, please visit: