Group 4B: HR+ Breast Cancer; Brain metastasis

Thursday, Dec 15
10:00 am – 11:30 am Eastern Time (US/New York)

Poster #P4-01-09

Characterization of breast cancer brain metastases overall and progression-free survival and timing of cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitor use: Retrospective single institution experience

Poster author Sonya Chew Minmin, M.D. will attend this session

Poster #P1-10-09:

AQP4 inhibition prevents cytotoxic edema of AQP4+ astrocytes but promotes tumor growth of AQP4+ breast cancer brain metastasis

Poster author Maria J Contreras-Zarate, Ph.D. is also the scientist for this session

Mentor: Christine Hodgdon, M.S.

Christine Hodgdon was a conservation biologist before her metastatic breast cancer (MBC) diagnosis in April 2015. Her advocacy career began when she launched, an educational resource for MBC patients that includes a searchable clinical trial database. She later co-founded GRASP – Guiding Researchers & Advocates to Scientific Partnerships which empowers patients, clinicians, and researchers to exchange ideas and learn from each other.  She spearheads the MBC Alliance-sponsored Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis (BCBM) Initiative: Marina Kaplan Project with the goal to address the unmet research needs of breast cancer patients living with central nervous system (CNS) metastasis and was a founding committee member of, a resource hub for breast cancer patients living with brain metastasis. She also collaborates with leadership at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center to innovate the INSPIRE (Influencing Science through Patient-Informed Research & Education) Advocacy Program. Her advocacy work is inspired and driven by the loss of many friends to MBC.

Twitter: @christeeny513

Scientist: Maria J Contreras-Zarate, Ph.D.

Dr. Contreras-Zarate has been a Research Instructor at the University of Colorado since August 2021 in the field of brain metastases under the mentorship of Dr. Diana Cittelly. Dr. Contreras-Zárate completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Colombia. In 2016, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Cittelly at the University of Colorado as a postdoctoral fellow, where she learned the technical skills required to perform critical in vitro and in vivo experiments in the brain metastases field. Dr. Contreras-Zarate led the efforts to decipher how estrogen modulates BDNF/TrkB signaling to promote metastatic brain colonization in younger women with triple-negative breast cancers; (Contreras-Zarate, MJ et al., Oncogene, 2019). Her research currently focuses on understanding the interaction between cancer cells and the brain microenvironment. She also studies estrogen depletion therapies as a preventive and therapeutic setting to decrease the progression of brain colonization of triple-negative breast cancer—and she is interested in defining the mechanism underlying radiation treatment side effects and the potential role of antiepileptic drugs in the metastasis progression in breast cancer patients with epileptic seizures.

Twitter: @mjcz159