2020 Komen CSNJ Breast Cancer Conference: Next-Generation Precision Oncology

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Robert A. Somer, MD

Susan G. Komen Central and South Jersey (Komen CSNJ) will host its 2020 Breast Cancer Conference: Next Generation Precision Oncology on Friday, January 24 at Rutgers University-Camden Campus Center from 8 AM to 1 PM.

Next-Generation Precision Oncology is a conference for health professionals, patient advocates and other relevant stakeholders focused on bringing together oncology experts to share their knowledge and approaches to advancing precision medicine in clinical practice — as it is rapidly becoming the most studied form of cancer therapy and the standard of care for patients with advanced breast cancer. The goal is to educate the care team on emerging developments and advancements of diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic approaches that are advancing precision medicine in breast cancer care.

This event features eight presentations from leading experts including Dr. Robert Somer, Head, Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology and Director, Clinical Trials Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Dr. Somer is also a Professor of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He will be leading the Case-Based Study: The Promise and Limitations of Precision Medicine in Clinical Practice session at the Conference.

We spoke with Dr. Somer about his work at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, the Cooper School of Medicine at Rowan University and his role at the upcoming Healthcare Professional Conference.

Komen CSNJ: What inspired your choice to work in cancer, particularly focused on breast cancer?

Dr. Somer: Everyone knows someone who has been affected with cancer. My inspiration to work in the cancer field comes from the patient themselves. You will find strength, resilience, love, kindness and a multitude of positive words describing a person’s inner spirit in my clinics. The heroism my patients show me every day is what drives me to be the best physician I can be. It’s the least I can do. Regarding breast cancer specifically, this population is special. They are warriors. I cannot define it completely, yet as you read these words, you all know what I mean! It is also the most common cancer in women and want to help as many as I can. Having a mom, wife, and two daughters, I have a vested interest in women’s health!

Komen CSNJ: What are you most looking forward to as one of the speakers at Komen CSNJ’s third annual Healthcare Professional Conference?

Dr. Somer: I’d like to be able to educate people about some of the cutting-edge advances in therapy and how we can use our newest technologies to our advantage to help those with breast cancer.

Komen CSNJ: What advice/inspiring messages do you have for women and men affected by breast cancer?

Dr. Somer: You are not alone. We fight this together! In many cases, we are able to make breast cancer a chronic illness and are making progress every day!

Komen CSNJ: What do you enjoy most about your role as a professor and opportunities to present at education events like the Healthcare Professional Conference?

Dr. Somer: On one hand, I recognize my role as an educator, and may be able to empower others to help those in need by updating their medical knowledge and review modern treatment advances. On the other hand, I am humble enough to realize that I get much more out of this than people might realize: To be able to surround myself with individuals whom have the same calling as I do, while thirsting for knowledge to help others is awe-inspiring! Thank you for inviting me.

The 2020 Healthcare Professional Conference is jointly provided by Komen CSNJ and American Academy of CME, Inc. CME/CNE credit is available. The conference is supported by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. The lunch presentation is sponsored by Exact Science.

Learn more about the 2020 Komen CSNJ Breast Cancer Conference and RSVP for free here.

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