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The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Breast Health Forum, presented by our Main Partner, National Bank, is THE annual scientific event on breast cancer. Attend conferences on the most recent advances in breast cancer and ask your questions.
The 6th edition of the Forum will take place virtually on May 14 and will address major topics such as the advances in research: from laboratory studies to patient treatment. From fundamental research to the marketing of a new treatment, you will learn about the most recent discoveries on the different types of breast cancer, what research is underway to improve treatments and the quality of life of those affected, as well as the different factors that influence breast cancer.
Philippe DesrosiersAnimator and directorICI Radio-Canada, Savoir média
Karine-Iseult IppersielCEOand Fanny Guimont-Desrochers Director, Investment and Health PromotionFondation cancer du sein du Québec
Lucie BlanchetSenior Executive Vice-President, Individuals and Customer ExperienceNational Bank
Nathalie Bolduc, MSC, CCGC, CGCConsultant, Genetics and Prevention ProgramQuebec Beast Cancer Foundation
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, meaning that several factors may be involved. It can also be difficult to understand what the various types of breast cancer are and what makes them different. The purpose of this conference is to go back to the basics: what is breast cancer and how does it develop? What are the different subtypes? We will also discuss genetics and breast cancer, a topic that is increasingly present in research.
Dr Jean-Yves Masson, PhDProfessor, CHU de Québec-Laval Universityand Canada Research Chair in DNA Repair and Cancer TherapeuticsCHU de Québec
It was once assumed that our genetic information was stable and not prone to error. It is now recognized that our entire DNA, our genome, undergoes thousands of damaging events a day that can create variations in our genetic code. Harmful variations, or mutations, can lead to breast cancer. Dr. Masson’s work focuses on correcting errors in the genetic information, using the principle of homologous recombination. Mutations in BRCA genes lead to a flaw in these monitoring mechanisms and represent vulnerabilities that can be targeted using an anti-cancer molecule called poly (ADP) ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor. In this presentation, we will discuss the concepts of DNA repair and their usefulness in this lethal strategy that specifically stops mutated cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.
Fundamental research allows us to better understand how the different molecules that can be responsible for breast cancer behave. A better understanding of the mechanisms behind breast cancer allows the development of more targeted and often more effective treatments. During this first part of the Forum, triple negative breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, immunotherapy and the microbiome will be discussed.
Dre Marie-Claude Bourgeois-DaigneaultCHUM Research Center and Montreal Cancer InstituteCHUM
Although vaccines are conventionally known as powerful weapons to prevent disease, they can also be used as a treatment for cancer. These vaccines can either be specific to a particular cancer, and therefore unique for each patient, or shared between several cancers. In any case, the desired result of vaccination is to redirect the patient’s immune system against his or her own cancer. In this way, an army of immune cells that patrol the body acquire the ability to eliminate the cancer when they come into contact with cancer cells. This confers an immediate benefit that can destroy the cancer, but also a long-term benefit since the immune system can protect the body from future relapses. In this presentation, I will explain the basic concepts of cancer vaccination, as well as their specific application to breast cancer.
Morag Park, Ph.D., C.Q., FRSC, FCAHSDirector, Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer InstituteDiane and Sal Guerrera Chair in Cancer GeneticsDistinguished James McGill Professor, Depts. of Oncology, Biochemistry and MedicineMcGill University
Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) represent 15-20% of all diagnosed breast cancers and are associated with earlier age of onset and worse overall outcome. There are no specific therapies for TNBC treatment at the moment. One promising therapeutic avenue is to use the patient’s immune system to destroy tumour cells. Dr. Morag Park’s team discovered that a negative regulator of immune cell activity, as well as tumour cell growth, called B7-H4 is high in TNBC with worst outcome and may represent a new therapeutic target for TNBC.
Dr Réjean LapointeHead of the Cancer Axis, CHUM Research CenterCHUM
The microbiome is a collection of microorganisms that live together in an environment. For more than a decade, we have been discovering with amazement the impact of the composition of the gut microbiome on our health, and in diseases such as cancer. A new frontier in this field is the study of the microbiome inside tumours and its impact on the stimulation of the local immune system, clinical outcome and response to treatment. Dr. Réjean Lapointe’s laboratory primarily seeks to define the magnitude of the intratumor microbiome associated with breast cancer, the abundance of which seems to be linked to better patient survival. In particular, his team seeks to precisely identify the bacterial species that are associated with a better clinical outcome and that could therefore become our friends!
Finding a cure for cancer is not easy. While some researchers may make promising discoveries, they must first go through a rigorous process before their treatment is brought to market.! The situation is similar for screening methods or complementary therapies aimed at improving the quality of life of those affected. This part of the Forum will present the main steps of a clinical study, and researchers will then discuss the issues surrounding research.
Mme Catherine VayssierProject Manager, Clinical Research AwarenessQ-Croc
Is participating in a clinical trial an option for me? Participating in a clinical trial may be an option for patients diagnosed with breast cancer. Find out what clinical trials are, their role in drug development, who can participate in them and how participants are protected. Resources and tips for searching for a clinical trial will also be presented.
Mme Catherine WilhelmyPatient research partnerUniversité de Sherbrooke
A breast cancer survivor shares her experience as a clinical trial participant and how this led her to become a patient partner in research.
Dr Jacques Simard, Ph. D., MSRC, MACSSCanada Research Chair in OncogeneticsVice-Dean for Research and Graduate StudiesFull Professor, Department of Molecular MedicineFaculty of Medicine, Laval UniversityCHU de Québec Research Center – Laval UniversityCHU de Québec
One of the main objectives of the large-scale PERSPECTIVE project (https://etudeperspective.ca, in French) is to develop a framework to support the implementation of a personalized approach to breast-cancer screening. This study uses risk-stratification tools developed by Jacques Simard’s international team to generate evidence on the feasibility, acceptability, adoption, social and ethical issues, and cost-effectiveness of an individual risk-based screening approach. This project benefits from collaborations with several partners, including the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec’s Cancer Division and Ontario Health/Cancer Care Ontario.
Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy… The treatments to eliminate breast cancer are numerous and have many effects on the body. Researchers are working to better understand the interactions of these treatments with the body, but also their impact on the quality of life of patients. In this way, they can make the treatment more effective, with the least possible side effects. During this theme, speakers will present the most recent advances in research for the well-being of people affected by breast cancer.
Dre Léamarie Meloche-DumasResident 4, General Surgery, University of MontrealCHUM
Despite significant advances, the treatment of breast cancer continues to cause significant morbidity. The ACOSOG Z0011 clinical trial demonstrated that sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) was equivalent and less morbid than axillary dissection in patients with clinically negative axilla and one to two positive sentinel lymph nodes. The NCCN recently proposed expanding this indication when an axillary lymph node is positive by ultrasound biopsy and there are only one to two suspicious nodes on imaging. Targeted axillary dissection, which involves excising the positive biopsied lymph node during surgery, increases the accuracy of SLNB after receiving preoperative chemotherapy. Together, we will review the various applications of the sentinel lymph node and targeted axillary dissection in the contemporary era in patients with early breast cancer.
Marie-Ève Letellier, PhDKinesiologist and Lymphedema Therapist, Lymphedema Clinic – MUHC, Scientific DirectorAQL – Association québécoise du lymphoedème
Lymphedema is a chronic swelling in the affected area (e.g., arm and/or breast). It can be primary (e.g., from birth), but the vast majority of cases are secondary (e.g., obesity, venous insufficiency, cancer). About one in five women will develop lymphedema as a result of treatments for breast cancer. Early intervention and proper management (compression—when indicated, exercises, self-management) are important allies in the treatment of this condition. The Lymphedema Association of Québec (AQL) is an organization that supports, informs and answers questions from patients, caregivers, and health professionals, among others.
Karine AudetDosimetry CoordinatorCIUSSS Saguenay Lac St Jean
This year will mark 30 years since I was admitted to the order as a radiation technologist. As early as 1992, the benefits of radiation therapy as a systemic treatment to prevent breast cancer recurrence were known. In this short presentation, I will show you how the advent of new technologies has helped us to improve an already effective treatment, making it less toxic.
Whether before, during or after a breast cancer diagnosis, many factors influence the impact of the disease on the person affected. Speakers will address these factors, as a better understanding of them could improve the patient’s care journey and well-being.
Dr Paquito BernardAssociate Professor, Department of Human KineticsResearcher, University Institute of Mental Health in MontrealUQAM
Mental health is put at risk during or following treatment for breast cancer. Canadian guidelines recommend the use of physical activity to alleviate depressive symptoms, and its benefits for physical and mental health in the context of breast cancer are well documented. Paquito Bernard’s team has therefore developed the Adapted Physical Activity for You interventional study to help patients struggling with major emotional distress engage in physical activity based on their desires and energy.
And then, the challenge of life after breast cancer?
Karine Bilodeau, Inf., Ph.D.Assistant professor at the Faculty of Nursing at the Université de Montréal and regular researcher at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research CenterUdeM
The end of treatments is often a sign of a return to normalcy; however, this event brings its own set of challenges. Patients adjusting to their new state of health find their bearings in their personal, family and professional life. This presentation will outline some of the challenges encountered at the end of treatment and some strategies for rediscovering your new normal.
Detecting and managing symptoms to improve breast cancer treatment: the e-IMPAQc project.
Dre Sylvie LambertCanada Research Chair, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University and Researcher, St. Mary’s Research CenterMCGILL
We know that women treated for breast cancer face many emotional, physical, psychological, social and practical symptoms and challenges. Programs that systematically detect patients’ symptoms and difficulties can improve the care process and the management of side effects. Sylvie Lambert’s team is developing and implementing an innovative electronic program in Quebec called e-IMPAQc, which allows cancer patients to self-report the side effects of their treatments using standardized questionnaires. Their research aims to ensure that the program meets the needs of various cancer patient populations, including women with breast cancer.
Sébastien Simard, Ph.D, psychologueProfessor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Quebec at ChicoutimiResearcher at the Intersectorial Center for Sustainable Health (CISD) and at the CIUSSS du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-JeanUQAC
Lucie LacombeBreast cancer survivor and volunteerQuebec Beast Cancer Foundation
The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation’s helpline (1 855 561-PINK) was launched in October 2021 to support people in the breast cancer pre-diagnosis process. The unique feature of this project is that the people who answer the phone are peer helpers, cancer survivors who have experienced this difficult period of waiting for a diagnosis. An interview between host Philippe Desrosiers and a volunteer from the foundation will be conducted to discuss the project and its purpose. Psychologist Sébastien Simard will also be in attendance to discuss anxiety during this pre-diagnosis period and throughout the breast cancer journey. Solutions to help manage anxiety will be discussed.
Download the Interactio application to follow the conference in English or French.
Please note that most of the discussions at the Forum will be in French, with the exception of a few presenters who will speak in English. More details on the use of this platform will be e-mailed to you shortly before the event.
Only those who have met the following conditions will receive a certificate of attendance:
Note that only one attendance certificate will be sent to you per connection link. It will therefore be important to identify yourself properly when you connect to the virtual event on May 14.
If you would like more information on the number of hours credited, we recommend that you contact your professional order directly.
Certificates of attendance will be e-mailed to the address used for registration 10 business days after the event has ended.