Presidential Select Symposium will tackle complex issues surrounding pregnancy and cancer 

A cancer diagnosis affects about one in 2,000 pregnancies in the United States and can pose complex challenges for patients and loved ones, as well as their care teams.

Lisa Coussens, PhD, FAACR, FAIO
Lisa M. Coussens, PhD, FAACR

“Some women may not receive the best care they possibly can based on state-to-state legislative mandates, where options may have become more limited,” said AACR President Lisa M. Coussens, PhD, FAACR, Deputy Director for Basic & Translational Research, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University.

Coussens will participate in Monday’s Presidential Select Symposium: Pregnancy and Cancer, which begins at 11:45 a.m. ET in the Chapin Theater at the convention center. The goal of the session is to examine issues surrounding the delivery of optimal, patient-centered, ethical cancer care and to discuss situations in which these tenets are challenged, she said.

“Our speakers will focus on the evidence available to inform care of pregnant patients and important gaps in the literature with regard to the risks of treatment to a pregnant patient and fetus, particularly as cancer treatment improves with the introduction of new therapies and treatment modalities,” Coussens added.

Anne H. Partridge, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will discuss patient-centered, evidence-based approaches to cancer during pregnancy. Virginia F. Borges, MD, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University Colorado Denver School of Medicine, will discuss the importance of reproductive rights for pregnant women facing cancer. And Brandon M. Hayes-Lattin, MD, Medical Director of the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute’s Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program, will explore these same issues as they relate to managing hematologic malignancies during pregnancy.

“Evolving concerns in the current medical and sociopolitical environment will be considered, particularly when patient survival is compromised when therapies are deferred or omitted to prevent fetal exposure,” Coussens said. “We will present a multidisciplinary, sensitive approach to guide the management of this increasing issue in oncology.”

Julia Maues, a breast cancer survivor and co-founder of Guiding Researchers and Advocates to Scientific Partnerships will join the panel and provide a patient’s perspective.

“Our hope is to help our members better understand how to manage a cancer diagnosis while pregnant,” Coussens said.

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Access to the AACR Annual Meeting 2023 virtual meeting platform and all on-demand sessions is available through July 19, 2023. To claim CME/MOC credits for qualified sessions, visit the AACR Continuing Medication Education page. Questions? Contact the AACR Office of CME at (215) 440-9300 or via e-mail at [email protected].