ESMO Award

The esteemed ESMO Award was established in 1985 to recognise an ESMO member who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of medical oncology by promoting it as a speciality within the European and/or international community.

All awardees have made an outstanding contribution to the development of medical oncology and recognise the importance of promoting medical oncology as a speciality within the international community.

The winner of the 2014 ESMO Award will be announced in July.

Selection process

Candidates for the award are considered by the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee of renowned cancer leaders. After careful deliberations by the committee, its recommendations are forwarded to the ESMO Executive Board for final consideration and selection.

The choice of the award winner is made on the basis of the candidate's scientific accomplishments. No regard will be given to race, gender, and nationality, religious or political views.

The award consists of a statuette and free registration, free accommodation and reimbursement of travel expenses to either the ESMO or the ECC Congress.

Previous winners of the ESMO Award

2013 ECC Amsterdam – Cora Sternberg, San Camillo Fortanini Hospital, Rome, Italy

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, which is responsible for identifying candidates for ESMO high-level posts. Prof. Sternberg is currently the Solid Tumor editor of Critical Reviews in Oncology and Hematology and the Genitourinary Cancer editor for the European Journal of Cancer. She is the ESMO Scientific Co-Chair of this year’s ECC Congress.

Cora Sternberg

For me, receiving the ESMO Award has a very special meaning as an acknowledgement of the work that I have done in Europe. This award is recognition of all the work that I have done with ESMO, the EORTC, with the EAU (European Association of Urology) and the European Kidney Cancer Association. I am particularly proud of the young people that I have been fortunate to mentor with the potential to have brilliant careers in medical oncology research.
I would like to thank my parents and Dr Alan Yagoda previously at Memorial Hospital, my unquestionable mentor who taught me to ask critical questions and started me on my path of research in genitourinary oncology,” Prof Sternberg said. “Last and most of all, I want to mention my family and my wonderful caring husband, who has always supported me in all aspects of my life and career.

Cora Sternberg

Best known for her seminal 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. Honours bestowed upon her in Italy include the title ‘Grande Ufficiale al Merito della Repubblica Italiana’ and the Premio Minerva for Scientific Achievement, XVIII Edition for Achievements in Science.

Prof Sternberg’s other current appointments include 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 the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, in charge of continuously identifying international researchers and clinicians worthy of recognition, said: “Cora Sternberg’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.”

“Cora Sternberg’s expertise coupled with her dedication to providing optimal patient care through clinical research have served to advance medical oncology, cancer research and practice around the world.”

2012 – Ian Tannock, Canada

The 2012 ESMO Award has been bestowed to Professor Ian Tannock  for his work on clinical trials for men with metastatic prostate cancer and laboratory-based research on the micro-environment of solid tumours, their resistance to drugs and methods to overcome it. The Award recognises his tremendous contributions in improving methodology for undertaking clinical trials with emphasis on endpoints of clinical benefit and, at a laboratory level, unmasking aspects of solid tumour biology as well as improving outcomes of treatment with chemotherapy.

Based at the University of Toronto, Canada, where he is Professor of Medicine and Medical Biophysics, Prof. Tannock has led and helped to design trials that led to the identification of optimal chemotherapy for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

2011 – Johann de Bono, United Kingdom

The 2011 ESMO Award was granted to Professor de Bono, who has dedicated his life to oncology translational and clinical research, innovative treatment, education and development of international guidelines for prostate cancer management. Prof. de Bono is internationally recognised for the advancement of prostate cancer management and renowned for his innovative ideas in translational and clinical research in early drug development. He is highly appreciated for his rigorous methodology and mentorship of many young oncologists and he has been a key contributor in the success of the joint ECCO–AACR–EORTC–ESMO Workshop on 'Methods in Clinical Cancer Research' held in Flims. Prof. de Bono deserves this award for his exceptional work in the development of a number of new innovative compounds for several new indications in oncology and his exceptional contribution to the development of new drugs in prostate cancer, particularly through excellence in translational research and study design. One of the recently approved drugs from this development pipeline is abiraterone acetate, intended for the treatment of aggressive and previously drug resistant prostate cancer. This is a major breakthrough advance in the treatment of medically resistant prostate cancer.

  • 2010 - Alberto Costa, Italy
  • 2009 - E.G. Elisabeth de Vries, The Netherlands
  • 2008 - J.P. Armand, France
  • 2007 - J.B. Vermorken, Belgium
  • 2006 - D.J. Kerr, United Kingdom
  • 2005 - J. Baselga, Spain
  • 2004 - A.T. van Oosterom, Belgium
  • 2002 - M. Schneider, France
  • 2000 - R. Souhami, United Kingdom
  • 1998 - D.J.Th. Wagener, The Netherlands
  • 1997 - M. Piccart, Belgium
  • 1995 - S.B. Kaye, United Kingdom
  • 1993 - P. Alberto, Switzerland
  • 1991 - F. Cavalli, Switzerland
  • 1989 - G. Bonadonna, Italy
  • 1987 - H.H. Hansen, Denmark
  • 1985 - H.M. Pinedo, The Netherlands