09 September 2016

ESMO rewards outstanding oncologists

 The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the leading professional organisation for medical oncology, has revealed the four outstanding recipients of its distinguished awards.
Alberto Sobrero receives the ESMO Award for his world renowned research on treatment of gastrointestinal cancer.1
“Prof. Sobrero has not only very broadly and prominently co-authored more than 200 original contributions on very important issues mainly relevant to colorectal cancer where he is considered a leading world expert, but has also cooperated to a large extent within the European Society for Medical Oncology,” said Christoph Zielinski, Chair of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, comprised of oncology leaders who select exceptional international researchers and clinicians for recognition.
Commenting on the significance of receiving the honour, Sobrero said: “One always wonders if he is doing well in his professional life: the ESMO Award is certainly the best answer to this questioning.”
Sobrero is the Scientific Chair of the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid, Spain, a member of the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale Working Group, a member of the ESMO Educational Committee and ESMO Faculty Coordinator for Gastro-Intestinal Tumours.  His main research interests include gastrointestinal cancer treatment, and design and interpretation of clinical trials in oncology.
Sir Richard Peto wins the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award for important contributions to breast cancer treatment and his epidemiologic studies of tobacco-related diseases.2
Peto, working with his colleagues Richard Gray, Rory Collins and several dozen leading breast cancer researchers, founded the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) in 1985, which has substantially improved the routine management of early breast cancer and influenced clinical trial strategies. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1999 for his epidemiological studies of the hazards of smoking and benefits of stopping.
Zielinski said: “Prof. Richard Peto’s meta-analyses have generated important contributions to state-of-the-art of breast cancer treatment. He has also excelled in his epidemiologic studies of lung cancer and other tobacco-related diseases, showing that smoking still causes a quarter of all European cancer deaths.”
On receiving the award, Peto said: “The ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award recognises not just Richard Peto but the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group as a whole, including the patients and staff in hundreds of randomised trials.”
Carlos Caldas is honoured with the Hamilton Fairley Award for opening up new horizons for understanding the biology of breast cancer.3
Caldas’ research focus is the functional genomics of breast cancer and its biological and clinical implications. His laboratory redefined the molecular taxonomy of breast cancer, revealing novel subtypes and their respective drivers. It also completed microRNA profiling of 1,300 of the same tumours, which uncovered a new role for miRNAs as modulators of the immune response in a subset of breast cancers.
Zielinski said: “Prof. Carlos Caldas has excelled in molecular analyses and its implications in breast cancer where he has analysed an abundance of genomic and transcriptomic landscapes leading to a vastly ameliorated insight into the biology of the disease. Besides having published almost 400 original contributions on the topic, his research achievements have been published in eminent journals.
On receiving the award, Caldas said: “ESMO is the association representing medical oncologists in Europe. As a medical oncologist and member of the organisation this is an extremely prestigious award for me. It is a recognition of excellence and of the contributions my group has made to our understanding of breast cancer.”
Sumitra Thongprasert is granted the ESMO Women for Oncology award for being a role model for women oncologists and for her distinguished career.4
Prof. Thongprasert has lobbied across Asia for female participation in the oncology workforce and promotion of women in leadership roles. She has held many important positions in the Far East and internationally, including Far East regional representative for ESMO from 2008–2015 and President of the Thai Society of Clinical Oncology during 2002–2006.
Zielinski said: “Prof. Sumitra Thongprasert has been essential to the support of women's careers in Asia and beyond. She is a role model for what ESMO wants to convey with the Women for Oncology Award.”
On receiving the award, Thongprasert said: “The award is further impetus to strive towards contributing something meaningful to ESMO and especially to women oncologists.” 

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