ESMO announces award winners
The European Society for Medical Oncology announced the recipients of this year’s ESMO Awards.
The honorees will deliver their award lectures in October as part of the ESMO Virtual Congress 2020 education weekend.
Hans-Joachim Schmoll, MD, head of the clinical oncology research division at University Clinic of Martin Luther University in Germany, received this year’s ESMO Award in recognition of his contributions to developing medical oncology as a specialty in Germany and around the world.
Schmoll’s research focuses on colorectal cancer and germ cell tumors.
“As doctors and scientists, it’s important that we remain enthusiastic and work hard to give our patients the best available care,” Schmoll said in a press release. “That’s why I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award, and why I want to dedicate it to all the highly committed fellows, scientists and research teams who have accompanied me over the years. Their contributions made these achievements possible.”
Nadia Harbeck, MD, PhD, head of the Breast Centre and chair of conservative oncology in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at LMU University Hospital in Germany, received the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes her career-long commitment to cancer research and education.
Harbeck has served on several expert panels to create evidenced-based guidelines for breast cancer care. She also has led many phase 3 trials that identified biomarkers for decision-making in breast cancer treatment.
“To receive this award as a gynecologist who has spent her career individualizing treatment for early breast cancer shows that ESMO is a truly interdisciplinary society: The impact you make on cancer patients’ lives — independent of your training or specialty — is the most meaningful legacy you can leave in the oncology community,” Harbeck said. “I see this award as a tremendous motivation and milestone in our quest to convert scientific insights into patient benefit in early breast cancer by de-escalating therapy whenever feasible and escalating only when needed.”
Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, director of the tumor immunology program at Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at University of California, Los Angeles, received the ESMO Award for Translational Research.
The award recognizes his translational research work in malignant melanoma, which has focused on gene-engineered T cells, PD-1 blockade and BRAF-targeted therapies.
“I want to share the honor of receiving the ESMO Award for Translational Research with the members of my laboratory, with my research colleagues and trainees,” Ribas said. “Our goal has been to conduct research that improves the treatment of patients with cancer, and this award is a recognition of the translational impact of our work.”
Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, head of dermatology at Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus and co-director of the melanoma research unit at INSERM 981 Paris-Sud University, received the ESMO Women for Oncology Award.
The award recognizes Robert’s commitment to mentoring and supporting her female colleagues, and helping more women advance in medical oncology.
“It is a great time to be working in our field. A lot is happening and we feel that we can be the agents of change that will improve the future of patients with cancer,” Robert said. “Winning this award gives me even more energy and strength to pursue the goal of seeing more patients saved from melanoma, and that’s why I would like to tell my female colleagues, in particular, that they should not compromise on their passion and ambition to work in this specialty for any reason.”