October 13 to 17, 2008
City of Hope Beckman Research Institute, Chengdu Medical College, Fudan University Cancer Hospital and Chinese Breast Cancer Society.
Based on results from several major Phase III clinical trials, three third-generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs), anastrozole, exemestane and letrozole, are now considered to be important advances in hormonal therapy of post-menopausal breast cancer patients. A number of new trials have been initiated or planned to assess the advantage of treating patients with the combination of AIs and new drugs that target various growth factor-induced signaling pathways. Several laboratories have developed preclinical models to study the mechanisms of AI resistance. Results have been generated that show the up-regulation of kinase-mediated signaling pathways in AI resistant cells. Therefore, combining AIs with drugs targeting signal transduction pathways will be potentially useful for AI resistant patients. Furthermore, during the last couple of years, important information regarding the structure-function relationship of the human aromatase protein and aromatase gene polymorphisms has become available.
Findings from these basic and translational investigations on aromatase will help in designing better therapeutic approaches involving AIs. In addition, research to determine the regulatory mechanisms of aromatase expression in breast cancer cells has led to the consideration of suppressing aromatase expression as a way to treat hormone dependent breast cancer. Leaders of basic, translational, and clinical investigations in these areas will be invited to present or are expected to participate in this meeting. Our goal will be to identify and address critical issues necessary to make further progress in the field.
The breast cancer rate has increased significantly in China and is now the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. It has been reported that the incidence of breast cancer has doubled during the last few years, and it is estimated that China will have the same number of breast cancer patients as the US by next year. Previous meetings were held in western countries, with an exception of Kyoto in 2002. To have the IX International Aromatase Conference in China will bring attention and awareness to this important direction of hormonal therapy of breast cancer to medical professionals dealing with the breast cancer patients as well as the Chinese general population.