The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the leading pan-European organisation representing medical oncology professionals, has announced the recipients of the annual society’s prestigious awards, recognising excellence in oncology.

Cora Sternberg will receive the ESMO Award for her pioneering research into the treatment of genitourinary cancers

Best known for her original work in bladder cancer, research on targeted agents in renal cell carcinoma and novel therapies for prostate cancer, Prof Sternberg is Chief of the Department of Medical Oncology at the San Camillo Forlanini Hospital and Adjunct Professor at La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. She is also Adjunct Professor of Urology and Urological Oncology at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Lahey Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Josep Tabernero, Chair of ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, in charge of continuously identifying international researchers and clinicians worthy of recognition, said: “Cora’s inspiring work in developing the M-VAC chemotherapy regimen –the established ‘gold standard’ of treatment for more than 20 years for bladder and urothelial cancers– has significantly improved outcomes for patients across borders. Her expertise coupled with her dedication to providing optimal patient care through clinical research has served to advance medical oncology, cancer research and practice around the world.”

“For me, born in the US, receiving the ESMO Award has a very special meaning as an acknowledgement of the work that I have done in Europe,” said Prof Sternberg receiving the award. “I would like to thank my family who has always supported me in all aspects of my life and career.” 

Prof Sternberg is an internationally respected leader in the field of urological malignancies: she has been elected Board Member of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) for three terms; ESMO Faculty Coordinator for Genitourinary Tumours for many years and also served on the ESMO Nominating Committee, responsible for identifying candidates for ESMO high-level posts. Prof Sternberg is currently the Solid Tumour editor of Critical Reviews in Oncology and Haematology and the Genitourinary Cancer editor for the European Journal of Cancer. She is the ESMO Scientific Co-Chair of this year’s ECC Congress. 

Franco Cavalli will be bestowed with the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award for his long-standing contribution to lymphoma research and treatment

Currently Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European School of Oncology (ESO) and Scientific Director of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI), Prof Cavalli’s research began in leukaemia, moved to breast cancer, and is currently malignant lymphoma. He was instrumental in creating the International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group (IELSG). 

Prof Cavalli is the founding editor of the Annals of Oncology, ESMO’s flagship scientific journal, established to keep medical oncologists at the cutting edge of new research developments; for over 12 years (1986-1998) Prof Cavalli was ESMO Secretary with a seat in the Executive Committee.

“ESMO has always meant a lot to me and it is a wonderful feeling to receive this recognition,” Prof Cavalli said.

From 2006 to 2008 he was President of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). He was voted Switzerland’s “Person of the Year” in 2006 for his contribution to society – in particular his efforts on tackling cancer in developing regions. Prof Cavalli has authored or co-authored more than 550 scientific articles and five books including the "Textbook of Medical Oncology".

Josep Tabernero said: “On behalf of ESMO, I congratulate Prof Franco Cavalli as a much deserved recipient of this award. Prof Cavalli is a true gentleman and scholar, tirelessly working to advance cancer research and care for the benefit of cancer patients all over the world. Long before the term ‘oncopolicy’ started to gain momentum, he was already tackling key healthcare and policy issues to better raise awareness on and around cancer. He has also been instrumental in promoting the speciality of Medical Oncology at the European and International levels.”

Roger Stupp wins the Hamilton Fairley Award for his relentless research on malignant gliomas, head and neck and lung cancers

Currently President of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Prof Stupp has contributed to an important practice change in the neuro-oncology filed, introducing novel chemotherapeutics. He has been lead investigator on several academic large phase III trials and is closely involved in bringing new anti-angiogenic and biological treatments to the clinic.

He is Professor at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, Chair and Director of the Department of Oncology of the University Hospital Zurich and the Zurich Cancer Centre. He is serving as expert in the ESMO Faculty groups for Central Nervous System tumours and Principles of Clinical Trials and Systemic Therapy and is past secretary of the EORTC Brain Tumour Group.

Josep Tabernero said: “Roger Stupp has played a critical role in establishing the bench-bedside-bench virtuous cycle of knowledge throughout Europe to dramatically improve the clinical management and outcome of patients in daily practice.”

Receiving the award, Prof Stupp said: “This recognition of my peers emphasizes the importance of clinical investigators in a healthcare environment that is notoriously short of resources, overburdened with regulations and facing increasing costs for marginal improvements. Research is never performed by one person alone and as such one receives an award as a representative of innumerable people.” Acknowledging the support of friends and colleagues, he added: “Most importantly, I would like to mention the patients who trust us and participate in clinical and translational trials.”

“This award is recognition for past contributions and, more importantly, an obligation to continue in the quest for better understanding of cancer and more efficient treatments for our patients,” Prof Stupp said.

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Oncology, Awards, ESMO The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the leading pan-European organisation representing medical oncology professionals, has announced the reci...