2023 Industry Symposium: Thursday

Thursday, June 15th, 2023 – 8:00AM – 9:00AM
The HER2 Spectrum in Breast Cancer: A Focus on the Patient Treatment Journey

Room: Vanity Ballroom (Plenary Room)


Sandy Sehdev MD FRCPC
Medical Oncologist
Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre
Ottawa, ON

Faculty / Panelists:

Nadia Califaretti MD FRCPC
Medical Oncologist
Grand River Regional Cancer Centre
Kitchener, Ontario

Glenn Myers BScPharm
Clinical Pharmacist
Outpatient Oncology
Dr. SH Rubin Oncology Clinic
Moncton, New Brunswick

Mita Manna MD FRCPC
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
Medical Oncology
University of Saskatchewan

Symposium Synopsis:

The treatment paradigm for the HER2 spectrum in breast cancer has been increasingly transformed since the development of several HER2-targeted drugs. Medical oncology teams continue to face challenges in terms of HER2 identification in the clinic and are often in a state of flux in terms of the identification.

HER2 amplification is present in 11% to 15% of all invasive breast cancers and can result in significant overexpression of HER2 cell membranes and / or adapt to HER2 signaling, which promotes cell proliferation. Current research is leading towards HER2-positive breast cancers (the 2+ and 3+) and for others, a more granular quantification of HER2 is being defined to help clinicians prioritize which treatment might be most effective for each patient population identified.

Advances in targeting HER2 represents the treatment cornerstone in this setting. New molecules, including monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors and, recently, antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), have impacted immensely in survival outcomes in multiple trials, paving the way for future technology advances and innovative treatments that will surely improve efficacy results and patient reported outcomes.

Oncology teams also have the responsibility to approach patient management with knowledge of possible adverse events and need information to share with patients on how to effectively manage associated toxicities to optimize outcomes. In partnership with the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, a patient counselling tool has been created by a multidisciplinary expert panel to help guide patients through their treatment pathway.

Symposium faculty will discuss this new patient counselling tool and provide the background and rationale of the different components in managing patients within the HER2 spectrum in breast cancer.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Examine the evolution of the HER2-spectrum supported by emerging clinical evidence
  • Evaluate the safety and efficacy profiles of novel therapies for treating patients with HER2+ and HER2-Low expression breast cancer
  • Use recommended strategies to identify, monitor and manage adverse events of novel therapies for HER2-positive breast cancer, incorporating a patient Counselling Tool into practice across the MDT

Thursday, June 15th, 2023 – 12:40-13:40
Empowering Patients Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer (mBC) to Improve Their Quality of Care – An innovative partnership (Rethink Breast Cancer/Pfizer)

Room: Vanity Ballroom (Plenary Room)


Karen Gelmon (co-chair)
Medical Oncologist, Department of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer
Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

MJ DeCoteau (co-chair)
Founder and Executive director of Rethink Breast Cancer

Nathalie Beaudais
Co-chair of RETHINK BC metastatic breast cancer patients Advisory-Board

Awardees – Speakers

Dr. Jan-Willem Henning (Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, AB); Dr. Winson Cheung (Oncology Outcomes); Lindsay Carlsson (Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON), Dr. Aisha Lofters (Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, ON); Mona Magalhaes (St Mary’s Hospital, Montreal, QC)


Rethink Breast Cancer, a Canadian non-profit organization, is known for rethinking the status quo regarding breast cancer to ensure that care and dialogue reflect the needs of persons affected by this disease. Rethink educates, empowers and advocates for system changes to improve the experience and outcomes of those with breast cancer, focusing on historically underserved groups: people diagnosed at a younger age, those with metastatic breast cancer and people systemically marginalized due to race, income or other factors.

Since 2021, Rethink and Pfizer have lifted their partnership by launching a yearly request for proposal (RFP) program to support new initiatives to improve the quality of care of Canadian patients living with mBC.

One specificity of this program is to ensure that patients have their share of voice and are empowered in the final decision of investments. Ultimately, the selected quality improvement (QI) projects are aligned with their top priorities and meet their true needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the key features of this partnership.
  • Understand patients’ involvement in this program.
  • Celebrate and hear from last year’s competition winners by reviewing the awarded QI projects and their current progress.
  • Share perspectives from clinical experts and patients about the value and impact of this type of initiative.