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Four Oncologists to be Recognized at 2017 ESMO Congress

Published Online:4:07 PM, Mon July 31, 2017

Miguel Martin, MD, PhD
During the 2017 ESMO Congress, to be held September 8-12 in Madrid, Spain, the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) will award 4 oncologists with its distinguished annual awards:

Breast cancer expert Miguel Martin, MD, PhD, is being honored with the 2017 ESMO Award in acknowledgement of his contribution to research in the medical oncology field, and specifically in the field of breast cancer. He said that the award is the highest recognition he has ever received in his career.

Martin is the president of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology, professor of medicine at the Complutense University, and head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañon in Madrid, Spain. He has also served on the board of directors and the scientific steering committee for the Translational Research in Oncology group, and is the founder of the Spanish Group for Breast Cancer Research, known as GEICAM.

“Miguel Martin, MD, PhD, is an international global leader in widening our biologic understanding of breast cancer. He is recognized for his highly respected and important academic contributions in the field of breast cancer treatment, as well as his design and implementation of an abundance of important clinical trials. His work has deepened our understanding of ways to optimize breast cancer treatment and define new treatment paradigms,” said Christoph Zielinski, MD, on behalf of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee in a statement.

The ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award is being granted to José Baselga, MD, PhD, for his crucial role in the development of agents for the treatment of breast cancer. The award was created to honor international research by an individual or team whose longtime commitment to cancer research and education has been demonstrated.
 

José Baselga, MD, PhD
Baselga is the physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. His pivotal research led to the approval of trastuzumab (Herceptin), pertuzumab (Perjeta), and everolimus (Afinitor). He is currently focused on targeting PI3K in the treatment of breast cancer, and in understanding the mechanisms of resistance to anti-estrogen therapies.

He was previously the chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, associate director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was a former president of the American Association of Cancer Research and ESMO, and was on the board of directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
  “José Baselga, MD, PhD is a true giant of modern oncology,” said Zielinski. “He has not only contributed immensely to clinical research, but has had remarkable success in the translation of that science into patient benefit.”

Alberto Bardelli, PhD, is being recognized with the ESMO Translational Research Award for his work on liquid biopsies in the field of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC).

Bardelli is a professor of oncology at the University of Torino, the director of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, and deputy director of the Candiolo Cancer Institute-IRCCS in Torino, Italy.

Alberto Bardelli, PhD
  His work has led to paradigm-changing applications in the clinic, according to Zielinski. “Professor Bardelli is a highly-respected geneticist and world-renowned expert in the field of precision medicine. His innovative work in the area of liquid biopsies has paved the way for optimizing diagnosis and treatment options for colorectal cancer patients, and made him one of our most outstanding translational research scientists.”
Bardelli’s interest in the molecular landscape of response and resistance in the field of CRC has led to liquid biopsies that can monitor responses to treatments for patients with CRC.
  “I am thrilled and honored to receive this award, which acknowledges the work of my entire team of geneticists, molecular biologists, medical oncologists, physicists and mathematicians. In the last five years, our efforts to define how genomic alterations drive tumors, and how oncogenic events affect the ability of cancer cells to evade drugs, have translated into new ideas for clinical trials, which has been extremely gratifying. The ESMO Award for Translational Research energizes me to move forward in this direction and to get even closer to the clinical needs of patients,” said Bardelli in a statement.

The ESMO Women for Oncology Award will be given to Frances Shepherd, MD, for her continuous support of female oncologists. Shepherd is a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada.

She is well known for her role in the design and conduct of research studies looking at new therapies and treatment strategies for patients with lung cancer. She has designed and led more than 100 clinical trials for patients with lung cancer worldwide.
 

Frances Shepherd, MD
“Frances Shepherd, MD has been a true role model, supporting and furthering the career of women in oncology, on top of making outstanding academic contributions in the field of lung cancer,” noted Zielinski. “Shepherd is a devoted advocate for equality in oncology careers—irrespective of gender, with a particular emphasis on the difficulties women might encounter when pursuing their professional goals.”
  For 19 years Shepherd was the chair of the Lung Cancer Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group, and was a former president of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. 

“At the time I entered the specialty, oncology was in its infancy, and over the decades both the specialty and we women oncologists have grown exponentially,” Shepherd said in a statement. “Women are no longer a small minority of oncologists and, increasingly, women are taking a greater and greater role in leadership positions. In these roles, we must support our junior colleagues, both men and women, and remember always to encourage collaboration. The sum of the parts will always be greater than the whole.”

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