Hamilton Fairley Award: Presentation and awardees

The distinguished Hamilton Fairley Award was established in 1988 to commemorate one of the founding fathers of medical oncology in Europe and is presented to candidates who are internationally recognised for outstanding achievements in cancer science and clinical/translational research.

The winner of the 2014 Hamilton Fairley Award will be announced in August.


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 the opportunity to give a lecture at either the ESMO or the ECC Congress, free registration, free accommodation and reimbursement of travel expenses.

Previous winners of the Hamilton Fairley award

2013 ECC Amsterdam – Roger Stupp, Universitätsspital Zurich, Switzerland

Prof Stupp is known worldwide for his research on malignant gliomas, head and neck as well as lung cancers. He has been the lead investigator for establishing the use of temozolomide chemotherapy in conjunction with radiotherapy in newly diagnosed glioblastoma and determining the predictive value of MGMT gene-promoter methylation. His special clinical interests include new drug development and the association of chemotherapy and radiation. His work in clinical research has contributed to an important practice change in the neurooncology filed, introducing novel chemotherapeutics after many years.

Roger Stupp

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. A wealth of data and information need now to be translated into true and meaningful improvement in therapy and quality of life of cancer patients.
This recognition from my peers emphasises 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. Most importantly, I would like to mention the patients who trust us and participate in clinical and translational trials.

Roger Stupp

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. Prof Stupp maintains close collaborations with Prof Monika Hegi, head of the Laboratory of Tumour Biology and Genetics at the CHUV in Lausanne, the Laboratory of Tumour Angiogenesis and Microenvironment led by Prof.Curzio Ruegg, and the Swiss Institute of Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC).

Currently President of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Prof Stupp has been lead investigator on several EORTC-sponsored large phase III trials and is closely involved in bringing new anti-angiogenic and biological treatments to the clinic. On behalf of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Prof Stupp recently reported on a curative approach for treating locally advanced, inoperable stage IIIB non−small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy, followed by definitive surgery. Interestingly, these projects are integrating a comprehensive translational research programme to clinical questions, allowing for better understanding of the diseases and identification of novel treatment targets.

Josep Tabernero, Chair of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, in charge of continuously identifying international researchers and clinicians worthy of recognition, 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. The 2013 Hamilton Fairley Award not only recognises his exceptional talent and vision as a medical oncologist and clinical researcher, but also reminds us why he was appointed President of EORTC and is continuously called upon to serve on both Educational and Scientific Committees of international congresses, including the ESMO Congress, and Editorial Boards of several prestigious oncology journals.”

“Roger Stupp’s expertise and drive as principal investigator of several multinational, large randomized clinical trials on novel agents or modalities continue to tackle the many remaining questions and obstacles that currently impede important advances in the treatment of malignant gliomas, head and neck, and lung cancers. Simply put, Roger Stupp is a clinical researcher of international excellence, renowned for pushing the boundaries towards paradigm change in cancer therapy.”

2012 ESMO Vienna – Jean-Yves Blay, France

The recipient of the 2012 Hamilton Fairley Award is Professor Jean-Yves Blay, for his contribution to translational cancer research.  Jean-Yves Blay is Professor of Medicine in Medical Oncology and Head of the Medical Oncology Department and the Translational Research Pole at the Centre Léon Bérard of the Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. He is one of Europe’s most published lead and co-authors, with more than 350 peer-reviewed papers, principally on sarcomas, GIST and immunotherapy. He writes and lectures on public health issues such as breast and prostate cancer screening programmes. He is a president of the EORTC and serves as scientific committee member of 5 cancer centres in France. He has been a reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, Cancer, Annals of Oncology, and the European Journal of Cancer.

2011 EMCC Stockholm – Rafael Rosell, Spain

The Hamilton Fairley Award will be given to Professor Rosell, a leading figure in the field of lung cancer for many years. He established a very productive group of clinical and laboratory investigators in the Medical Oncology Department at Hospital Trias i Pujol, which has grown and became one of the leading centres in lung cancer management. Prof. Rosell is the founder and the scientific leader of the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (SCLG), that has made major contributions impacting the treatment of lung cancer and the direction of future developments aiming to provide the best therapeutic options based on molecular tumour characteristics. Prof. Rosell has been the principal investigator in a number of clinical trials, he has demonstrated long-term commitment to clinical and translational research in the lung cancer field. Prof. Rosell’s contributions range from tumour biology to prognostic and treatment-predictive markers, clinical trials involving chemotherapy and targeted agents with careful dedication to personalised medicine.

  • 2010 - Bengt Glimelius, Sweden
  • 2009 - T.Andrew Lister, United Kingdom
  • 2008 - Yosef Yarden, Israel
  • 2006 - V. Diehl, Germany
  • 2004 - B.A.J. Ponder, United Kingdom
  • 2002 - A. Levitzki, Israel
  • 2000 - P. Borst, The Netherlands
  • 1998 - T. Tursz, France
  • 1996 - A. de la Chapelle, Finland
  • 1994 - B. Coiffier, France
  • 1992 - H.M. Pinedo, The Netherlands
  • 1990 - R. Mertelsmann, Germany
  • 1988 - G. Klein, Sweden