New Hope for the Future: Preventing Inherited Cancer
Keynote Presented by Thomas Bock
- Dr. Bock was the keynote speaker for 15th Annual OUR GENES conference in Edmonton, Canada
- His presentation discussed the founding of HeritX and the International Coalition to Prevent Inherited Cancer
- Other topics at the conference included the benefits of exercise in regards to cancer risk and gene panel testing
Dr. Thomas Bock, Chairman and CEO of HeritX, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Society/Risky Genes 15th Annual OUR GENES conference in Edmonton, Canada. The event was moderated by Global TV health reporter Su-Ling Goh and attended by 120 individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, as well as health care professionals.
Dr. Bock’s presentation, New Hope for the Future: Preventing Inherited Cancer, described his family’s personal story and how this experience changed his priorities, redirected his professional path, and led to the creation of HeritX. He discussed HeritX’s passionate team and the HeritX Global Initiative to Prevent Inherited BRCA Cancer. He talked about the significant progress made during the past year, focusing on the first scientific conference on preventing inherited BRCA cancer, the resulting roadmap to preventive therapy for BRCA cancers and the creation of an international coalition of researchers to foster collaboration toward reaching this goal. Prevention-focused scientists at leading institutions in three countries—including Canada— have begun promising research with the goal of preventing cancers due to BRCA mutations without the need for surgical or other very emotionally difficult and otherwise problematic interventions.
The agenda also included panels such as Understanding the Effect Psychological Support and Physical Lifestyle Changes Can Have on Cancer Risk and/or Recurrence—a talk on the benefits of exercise— and The Changing Genetics Testing Landscape, a presentation on the benefits and pitfalls of gene panel testing.
Mary McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, HBOC Society, stated: “The HBOC Society/Risky Genes of Canada was honored to have Dr. Bock present the keynote address at our conference. The HeritX roadmap described by Dr. Bock provides the first real hope to an embattled patient group and their families, so it resonated deeply with the audience and resulted in a zealous standing ovation. Dr. Bock’s obvious respect and caring for those personally affected and thoughtful acknowledgement of our young warriors—especially Janine Blaire who starred in our first awareness commercial—further endeared him to conference attendees and to our organization.
The organization is very enthusiastic about entering into a partnership with HeritX to work towards their vision of preventing inherited cancer.”
About the HBOC Society
The HBOC Society is a charitable, non-profit organization incorporated in 2002. The Canadian organization addresses all issues facing those affected by, at-risk for or indirectly impacted by HBOC syndrome. Their mission is “to represent, educate and support individuals, families and communities impacted by HBOC syndrome.”
The HBOC Society has developed media campaigns, an informational website and a social media presence, is involved in relevant lobbying efforts, and has worked to initiate and expand services such as multi-disciplinary HBOC syndrome clinics in Canada. They provide peer support and have a major focus on educational activities including the annual Risky Genes conference.