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

2015 – Nathan Cherny, Israel

The ESMO Award was presented to Nathan Cherny during the European Cancer Congress 2015

Professor Nathan Cherny has contributed to the visionary integration of palliative care into clinical oncology which has proved to be highly beneficial to patients with cancer. He helped to establish the ESMO Palliative Care Working Group in 1999 and was instrumental in setting up the ESMO Designated Centres programme in 2003, the premier initiative worldwide for providing incentives and a structured model to develop integrated programmes in oncology and palliative care.

Nathan Cherny

ESMO gave me a chance to help make a difference, and together I think that we have made an impact on the culture of cancer care and the manner in which it is delivered in Europe and beyond. For that opportunity and support, I am overwhelmingly and forever grateful.

Nathan Cherny

Cherny spearheaded the European and Global Opioid Policy Initiatives on formulary availability and regulatory barriers to access to opioids for cancer pain and as one of the lead coordinators, Cherny will play a key role in providing data to European health authorities on the availability of licensed anti-neoplastic medicines in Europe. Most recently, Cherny initiated the ESMO project to develop a scale to evaluate the magnitude of clinical benefit for cancer medicines.

Previous winners of the ESMO Award

2014 – Carsten Bokemeyer, Germany

Carsten Bokemeyer is a world leader in the pathogenesis and biology of malignant germ cell tumours. His discoveries include identifying the early stages of malignant germ cell transformation and the mechanisms of resistance of germ cell tumours to chemotherapy. He has also developed new therapeutic concepts with cytostatic drugs and immunotherapy in solid tumours. Currently Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg, one of Germany’s designated centres of excellence in oncology, Bokemeyer has been Visiting Research Professor at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Visiting Professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA.

Carsten Bokemeyer is a founding member of the international education initiative Molecular Targeted Therapy of Cancer and a past Chair of the ESMO Examination Committee. He is on the editorial board of Annals of Oncology, is a member of several national and international guideline groups, and was a scientific committee member for the ESMO and ASCO congresses during 2011-2013.

2013 – Cora Sternberg, 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 was presented with the 2013 ESMO Award during the European Cancer Congress held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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.

  • 2012 – Ian Tannock, Canada
  • 2011 - Johann de Bono, United Kingdom
  • 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

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.