ESMO 2017 Press Release: ESMO Women for Oncology Award Bestowed on Frances Shepherd

  • Date: 20 Jul 2017

LUGANO, Switzerland, 20 July 2017 – The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) presented its Women for Oncology Award to Frances Shepherd, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada.

The ESMO Women for Oncology award was established in 2015 to acknowledge an individual who has significantly supported the career development of women in oncology. 

It will be presented during the ESMO Women for Oncology Session at the ESMO 2017 Congress (8-12 September, Madrid, Spain). 

Shepherd is known worldwide for her key role in the design and conduct of research studies evaluating new therapies and treatment strategies in lung cancer.

“Frances Shepherd has been a true role model, supporting and furthering the career of women in oncology, on top of making outstanding academic contributions in the field of lung cancer,” noted Christoph Zielinski on behalf of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee.

“Shepherd is a devoted advocate for equality in oncology careers -- irrespective of gender, with a particular emphasis on the difficulties women might encounter when pursuing their professional goals.”

On receiving the award, Shepherd said: “I am thrilled and honoured, and see it as a culmination of my very gratifying and rewarding career in medical oncology over the past 30 years. During this time, I have seen women make enormous advances in medicine in general, and medical oncology in particular.”

“At the time I entered the specialty, oncology was in its infancy, and over the decades both the specialty and we women oncologists have grown exponentially,” she noted. “Women are no longer a small minority of oncologists and, increasingly, women are taking a greater and greater role in leadership positions. In these roles, we must support our junior colleagues, both men and women, and remember always to encourage collaboration. The sum of the parts will always be greater than the whole.”

Shepherd served as Chair of the Lung Cancer Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group for 19 years, and was President of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) from 2003 to 2005.

In 2001, she was named the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research, at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital, becoming the first holder of this esteemed research position with a primary goal of investigating new treatments for lung cancer. She has designed and led more than 100 clinical trials over the past three decades and her studies have changed treatment and outcomes for patients with lung cancer worldwide.


Notes to Editors


The ESMO Women for Oncology Award will be presented to Frances Shepherd during the Women for Oncology Session at the ESMO 2017 Congress on 9 September 2017, 11:00–12:30 (CEST) in the Alicante Auditorium of the Ifema, Madrid.

Info on all ESMO awards is available  here

About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)

ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With more than 16,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 130 countries worldwide, ESMO is 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.