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ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award


The prestigious ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2006 to recognise international research by individuals, teams and organisations that demonstrate commitment to clinical cancer research and/or education. It is awarded as a recognition for outstanding lifetime achievements in oncology.

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2020 – Nadia Harbeck, Germany

Prof. Nadia Harbeck, Head of the Breast Centre and Chair of Conservative Oncology at the LMU University Hospital’s department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Germany, has won this year’s ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her career-long commitment to global cancer research and education. Harbeck has for many years served on international expert panels to issue evidence-based guidelines for breast cancer care, alongside her ground-breaking research in individualising breast cancer therapy.

To receive this award as a gynaecologist who has spent her career individualising treatment for early breast cancer shows that ESMO is a truly interdisciplinary society: The impact you make on cancer patients’ lives – independent of your training or speciality – is the most meaningful legacy you can leave in the oncology community.

Nadia Harbeck

Previous recipients of the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Angelo Di Leo, Italy (2019)
  • Tony Mok, Hong Kong (2018)
  • José Baselga, USA (2017)
  • Richard Peto, United Kingdom (2016)
  • Nagahiro Saijo, Japan (2015)
  • Peter Boyle, France (2014)
  • Franco Cavalli, Switzerland (2013)
  • European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Belgium (2012)
  • Hans Jörg Senn, Switzerland (2011)
  • Alan H. Calvert, United Kingdom (2010)
  • Alan Ashworth, United Kingdom (2009)
  • Emili Montserrat, Spain (2008)
  • Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) (2007)
  • Breast International Group (BIG) (2006)

Nomination and selection process

Nominations may be made by any ESMO member (except undergraduate medical or science student members). Candidates may not nominate themselves.

Candidate eligibility criteria

  • Be an internationally recognised individual, team or organisation in any relevant discipline in the field of oncology
  • Demonstrate an affiliation to a major academic or cancer research / treatment institution(s)
  • Possess an international reputation and demonstrated lifetime commitment to clinical cancer research and/or education
  • Be renowned for their outstanding achievements carried out in clinical cancer research and/or education
  • Have published results on cancer research topics in highly cited peer-reviewed journals
  • Have not previously received the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Not be a current or recent (last two years) member of either the ESMO Executive BoardESMO Council or the ESMO Nomination Committee

Final selection is made by the Selection Committee: ESMO President, ESMO President-Elect, ESMO Past-President, Chair of the ESMO Nomination Committee.

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