Big Data for Breast Cancer Symposium Provides Forum for Technology, Medicine and Advocacy Experts to Advance Breast Cancer Research, Treatment

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization, Robertson Foundation
Sponsor First Symposium
to Focus on Big Data and Breast Cancer

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–International health and technology leaders will join key players from
the fields of cancer research, clinical care and patient advocacy for
the first Big Data for Breast Cancer (BD4BC) Symposium October 8 and 9
at Rockefeller University convened by the Susan G. Komen® breast cancer
organization with support provided by a grant from the Robertson

“The era of complex data in healthcare is here and with it an
unprecedented ability to collect genomic, clinical, epidemiological and
molecular data from sources that include electronic medical records,
mobile apps, wearables, sensors and clinical trials databases using
high-throughput measurements and powerful computing,” said Komen
President and CEO Dr. Judith A. Salerno. “The challenge is to ask
questions and analyze the amount of data collected daily to improve
outcomes for breast cancer patients and benefit research.”

This first Big Data symposium focusing on breast cancer evolved from
discussions between the chief scientific advisors of Komen’s Scientific
Advisory Board – George W. Sledge, Jr., MD, Chief, Division of Oncology
at Stanford University Medical Center and Eric P. Winer, MD, Director,
Breast Oncology Program, Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

By convening BD4BC, Komen hopes to create an international community
capable of merging genomics and electronic health records and using
these data to improve breast cancer research and clinical care. “Having
built a global community around breast cancer as the largest
non-governmental funder of breast cancer research ($889M), it is only
natural that once again Komen is leading the way in understanding and
anticipating the next leap forward in breast cancer – the use of Big
Data,” said Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen.

“We want to go beyond our usual role of identifying the best science,”
said Dr. Winer. “By convening this conference and bringing top experts
together, we are hoping to influence how Big Data can be used to answer
questions and, ultimately, improve health outcomes.”

Because Dr. Sledge, who is a past president of ASCO (American Society
for Clinical Oncology), has seen how research can be spurred by casual
conversations at meetings and away from the work environment, he knew
the structure of the meeting was important. “Very productive
conversations occur when one researcher approaches another and asks
‘what are you working on?’”

They thought a small meeting of key leaders from fields that intersect
but might not interact would benefit from an opportunity to gather
informally but in structured meetings. Thursday’s agenda consists of
lectures by experts in clinical informatics, electronic health records,
bio-ethics and policy, genomics technology, epidemiology and patient
advocacy. On Friday, the participants join self-selected working groups
culminating in a summary of the sessions and recommendations.

The unique design of the symposium drew support from The Robertson
Foundation. “The idea of starting a dialogue between experts in
technology, cancer research and oncology – people who aren’t usually in
the same room together – has the potential to create a synergy of ideas
that could ultimately lead to improvements in outcomes for breast cancer
patients,” said Julian H. Robertson, founder of the Robertson Foundation.

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization,
funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while
providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding
in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and
provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and
psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30
countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised
her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed
Suzy’s life. Visit
or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at

About The Robertson Foundation

The Robertson Foundation aspires to utilize a pro-active, disciplined
grant-making approach to measurably affect significant social change in
the principal areas of education, the environment, and medical research.
To learn more visit:


For Komen
Joanne Nicholas, 972-855-4382