Press Release: ESMO Recognises Carlos Caldas with Hamilton Fairley Award

  • Date: 06 Sep 2016

Lugano, Switzerland – The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has granted this year’s Hamilton Fairley Award to Carlos Caldas, whose research has opened up new horizons for understanding the biology of breast cancer. The honour will be presented at the ESMO 2016 Congress, held 7 to 11 October in Copenhagen, Denmark.1

The Hamilton Fairley Award was established in 1998 to commemorate one of the founding fathers of medical oncology in Europe. It rewards medical oncologists for their outstanding achievements in cancer science and clinical / translational research.

Carlos Caldas

Caldas’ research focus is the functional genomics of breast cancer and its biological and clinical implications. His laboratory redefined the molecular taxonomy of breast cancer, revealing novel subtypes and their respective drivers. It also completed microRNA (miRNA) profiling of 1,300 of the same tumours, which uncovered a new role for miRNAs as modulators of the immune response in a subset of breast cancers.

Caldas’ group co-led seminal studies defining the clonal heterogeneity of triple negative breast cancers and the patterns of whole-genome oestrogen receptor binding in primary tumours, which revealed new biology. Finally, his group co-led studies that established circulating tumour DNA as a monitoring biomarker and a liquid biopsy to unravel therapy resistance. More recently Caldas’ laboratory has been developing the use of patient-derived tumour explants as a model system for breast cancer.

Commenting on what this acknowledgement means to him professionally, Caldas said: “ESMO is the association representing medical oncologists in Europe. As a medical oncologist and member of the organisation this is an extremely prestigious award for me. It is a recognition of excellence and of the contributions my group has made to our understanding of breast cancer.”

On behalf of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, chair Christoph Zielinski said: “Prof. Carlos Caldas has excelled in molecular analyses and its implications in breast cancer where he has analysed an abundance of genomic and transcriptomic landscapes leading to a vastly ameliorated insight into the biology of the disease. Besides having published almost 400 original contributions on the topic, his research achievements have been published in such eminent journals as Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, Oncogene and Nature Medicine.”

Caldas has been Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Cambridge, UK, since 2002. He is Head of the Breast Cancer Functional Genomics Laboratory at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Lead of the Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, and Director of the Breast Cancer Programme at the Cambridge Cancer Centre.

On receiving the award, Caldas said: “I feel extremely honored and humbled with receiving this award. In particular, as a Portuguese physician-scientist based in the UK.”

Caldas acknowledged the contribution of colleagues: “I would like to acknowledge all current and past members of my group as well as my colleagues at the Cambridge Cancer Centre and at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. I would also like to acknowledge the support I have received from Cancer Research UK, which has funded most of the work in my group. Without them I would have never even been considered for this prestigious award.”

Zielinski concluded: “In his publications, Prof. Caldas has opened up new horizons with insights into the biology of breast cancer and has contributed extensively to our ameliorated knowledge on the disease.”


Notes to Editors

The Hamilton Fairley Award will be presented to Carlos Caldas during the Opening Session of the ESMO 2016 Congress, Friday 7 October 2016 at 12:00 -13:20 (CEST). Prof. Caldas will deliver a scientific lecture during the session.

Info on all ESMO awards is available here.

ESMO, European Society for Medical Oncology

ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. Comprising more than 13,000 oncology professionals from over 130 countries, we are the society of reference for oncology education and information. We are committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment.

Founded in 1975, ESMO has European roots and a global reach: we welcome oncology professionals from around the world. We are a home for all oncology stakeholders, connecting professionals with diverse expertise and experience. Our educational and information resources support an integrated, multi-professional approach to cancer treatment. We seek to erase boundaries in cancer care as we pursue our mission across oncology, worldwide.