Corporate Press Releases

Avon Foundation for Women and U.S. Department of State Convene Second Breast Cancer Global Congress

Nearly 150 Global Breast Cancer Leaders to Assemble to Discuss Breast Cancer Trends and Best Practices in Washington, D.C. and New York City October 12-16, 2011

Oct 11, 2011

NEW YORK – October 11, 2011 – The 2011 Breast Cancer Global Congress, a collaboration between the Avon Foundation for Women and the U.S. Department of State, will assemble nearly 150 participants from 57 countries to share best practices and return home with knowledge that will help improve local breast cancer outcomes. The Congress will be held October 12-16, 2011, in Washington, D.C. and New York City. This is the second Breast Cancer Global Congress convened by the Avon Foundation and the State Department and builds on the success of the first congress held in 2008.

The Breast Cancer Global Congress will facilitate the sharing of best practices, by region of the world, so each attendee can improve their breast cancer outreach, screening and treatment services. The Congress will also educate attendees on the latest clinical advances, enabling them to share a breadth of options with their patients in the future.

Dr. Marc Hurlbert, executive director of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, said, “The Congress is the starting point to bring about changes that will improve breast cancer screening and care for women globally.  Our goal is that participants leave with new information to benefit the women they serve and forge new relationships to improve breast health care for women in each country and region represented at the Congress.”

Topics to be addressed at the Congress will include advances and future technologies in breast imaging, screening and early detection; global incidence, mortality and risk factors, including in low and middle income countries; advancing care in developing populations through participation in global clinical trials; as well as global cancer control and education programs. Speakers will also present an analysis of Avon Foundation-funded projects in different regions of the world.

“Working toward solutions through people-to-people relationships highlights the power of the global community to work together and ensure people worldwide have greater access to breast cancer awareness and treatment,” said Lee Satterfield, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges at the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  

The Washington, D.C., portion of the Congress, sponsored by Eisai Inc., will begin with an opening reception on October 12 at the State Department Museum with remarks by Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, followed by a program including formal presentations and discussions on October 13 at the State Department. On October 14, participants will tour a local cancer center and a nutrition and food delivery program for breast cancer patients. Following the Washington, D.C. portion of the program, participants will travel to New York City where they will have the opportunity to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer New York and attend a luncheon with Avon Foundation Honorary Chairman Reese Witherspoon and New York-area breast cancer research and service organizations supported by the Avon Foundation.

The global roster of speakers includes: Leslie Bernstein, PhD, Professor and Director, Cancer Etiology, Dean for Faculty Affairs City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute; Wendie A. Berg, MD, PhD, FACR, Professor, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Mona Mostafa Mohamed, PhD, Cairo University; Rita Dardes, MD, PhD, Federal University of Sao Paolo/Avon Institute; Nishita Bakshi, Give2Asia; Pedro Liedke, MD and Yanin Chavarri Guerra, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital; Felicia M. Knaul, PhD Director, Harvard Global Equity Initiative; Paul Goss, MD, PhD, Director, Avon-Massachusetts General Hospital International Breast Cancer Research Center; Alessandra Durstine, Director for Latin America, American Cancer Society; and  Lee Satterfield, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Professional and Cultural Exchange.

“Eisai recognizes that breast cancer knows no boundaries and is a serious health issue for millions of women around the globe,” said Dr. Takashi Owa, chief scientific officer, Eisai Product Creation Systems and president of the Oncology Product Creation Unit at Eisai Inc.  “We are proud to sponsor this important conference aimed at improving the lives of those with breast cancer around the world.”

The Congress builds upon the Avon Foundation’s first successful collaboration with the State Department, which took place in 2008, and its nearly 150 participants represent 57 countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela.

About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade – which has donated more than $700 million globally – and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies.  More information on the Avon Foundation can be found at

About the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (ILVP)

Now in its 70th year, the IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term programs to build mutual understanding on foreign policy issues.  Nearly 200,000 distinguished individuals have participated in the program, including more than 320 current and former Chiefs of State and Heads of Government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors.  More information on the IVLP can be found on

About Eisai Inc.

Eisai Inc. was established in 1995 and began marketing its first product in the United States in 1997.  Since that time, Eisai Inc. has rapidly grown to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical business.  Eisai’s areas of commercial focus include neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care.  The company serves as the U.S. pharmaceutical operation of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. 

Eisai Oncology is dedicated to discovering, developing and producing innovative oncology therapies that may make a difference and impact the lives of patients and their families. This passion for people is part of Eisai’s human health care (hhc) mission, which strives for better understanding of the needs of patients and their families to increase the benefits health care provides. Our commitment to meaningful progress in oncology research, built on scientific expertise, is supported by a global capability to conduct discovery and preclinical research, and develop small molecules, vaccines, and biologic agents across various types of cancer.  For more information about Eisai, please visit

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