The promise of mouse models of human breast cancer drew nearly 400 scientists from around the
world to the 24th Congress of the International Association for Breast Cancer Research, held in November
at the Sacramento Convention Center. Breast cancer advocates and biotech industry leaders from around
the country also participated.
UC Davis Cancer Center hosted the congress, which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute's Mouse
Models of Human Cancers Consortium and Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services' Office of Women's Health and the California Breast Cancer Research Program.
Robert D. Cardiff, professor of pathology at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center, served as
congress director. Regarded as one of the world's foremost mouse pathologists, Cardiff saw the meeting
as an opportunity for leaders from industry, government and science to explore collaborative new ways
to better deliver research discoveries to breast cancer patients.
"Our understanding of these mouse models has reached the point that they should be rapidly deployed
to help alleviate human suffering," he said. The Sacramento meeting drew extensive local, national and
international media attention with announcements of research breakthroughs.
A panel of experts also gathered before the news media to discuss intellectual property rights issues that some scientists say create barriers to use of genetically engineered mice in breast cancer research. Founded in the mid-1950s, the International Association for Breast Cancer Research is an international community of scientists focused on the important issues in modern breast cancer research. The Sacramento meeting was the organization's first devoted to preclinical models of human breast cancer research.