Precision Medicine Conference to Showcase Cancer Research

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Article Summary
  • Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is hosting its 2nd Biennial Miami Precision Medicine Conference May 4-5.
  • The conference will provide current information on cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.
  • Conference director Dr. Carmen Calfa says it is important to understand the physical, spiritual and emotional consequences of a cancer diagnosis to best serve patients.

Research shaping the future of cancer care will be highlighted at the 2nd Biennial Miami Precision Medicine Conference, presented by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth — University of Miami Health System.

The May 4-5 conference, “Unraveling the DNA to Conquer Cancer,” will provide the latest information on cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship to South Florida health care providers and patients/patient advocates.

“Precision medicine has evolved significantly in recent years, and we want to bring community oncologists, primary care physicians and other providers – as well as patients, caregivers and advocates – the latest information in this rapidly changing field,” said breast cancer specialist Carmen Calfa, M.D., program director for the conference sponsored by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center medical oncologist Dr. Carmen Calfa
Dr. Carmen Calfa is program director for the 2nd Biennial Precision Medicine Conference.

On the clinical side, the Sylvester conference will explore diagnostic and treatment advances linked to molecular pathways, next-generation sequencing, genetic testing, liquid biopsies and artificial intelligence (AI).

Primary care physicians, residents and trainees can gain insights into managing their patients’ complex medical needs. Patients, caregivers and patient advocates can learn about advances in preventive treatment and survivorship care.

“We apply precision medicine to every step of a patient’s cancer journey, from assessing the personal risk factors, including genetics, to developing a personalized treatment and survivorship plan, as well as lifestyle and emotional interventions,” said Dr. Calfa, physician leader of Sylvester’s Genetic Predisposition Syndrome (GPS) Clinic, associate director of community breast cancer outreach in Plantation and medical co-director of Sylvester’s Cancer Survivorship Program.

Personalized Approach to Cancer Care

While testing the tumor for the presence of certain molecular alterations can make a difference in the way one’s cancer is treated, testing the individual for the presence of a pathogenic genetic mutation can have an impact on the entire family.

Because patients are living longer than ever with cancer, it is important for South Florida clinicians and patient advocates to understand the physical, spiritual and emotional consequences of a cancer diagnosis, added Dr. Calfa, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The conference will have opportunities for patients and advocacy groups to share their experiences and partner with physicians to manage their specific needs.

Along with 25 leading researchers and clinicians from Sylvester, invited distinguished speakers and their topics include:

  • • Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., professor emeritus at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, speaking about “The ASCO TAPUR Study 2.0 Update.”
  • • William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., the Marion I. Knott Professor of Oncology, Urology, Pharmacology, Pathology, and Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, speaking about “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Era of Precision Medicine.”
  • • Hope S. Rugo, M.D., professor of medicine and the Winterhof Family Professor of Breast Oncology at the University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center, speaking about “The Current and Future Role of Precision Oncology in Breast Cancer.”

As a National Cancer Center (NCI)-designated center, Sylvester is an academic resource for community practitioners, with subspecialists in all fields of oncology.

“Our tumor boards bring together experts from multiple disciplines to discuss complex cases and determine the most appropriate care,” said Dr. Calfa. “This continuing medical education conference is a great example of how we support South Florida health care providers, helping them do what’s best for their patients.”

Tags: cancer care, Dr. Carmen Calfa, Miami Precision Medicine Conference, precision medicine, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center