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Jean-Yves Blay


Jean-Yves Blay

ESMO Director of Public Policy
General Director of the Centre Léon Bérard, the Comprehensive Cancer Centre of Lyon


Professor Jean-Yves Blay, MD, PhD is a medical oncologist, Professor of  Medicine at the University  Claude Bernard in Lyon, General Director of the Centre Leon Berard, the Comprehensive Cancer Centre of Lyon France since December 2014, researcher and Professor at the University Claude Berard, France.  Since 2019, he serves as the President of the French Federation of Cancer Centers Unicancer, the network of  18 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in France.

His work focuses on sarcoma, genomics and targeted treatment of cancer, immune-oncology, and the relationship between tumour immunologic microenvironment and malignant cells, with the goal of clinical applications in the field of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. As director of the French Network of reference centers for Sarcoma since  2010 and as the coordinator of European Reference Network on rare adult cancers, EURACAN, his work also focuses on the improvement of organisation of routine treatments and clinical trials at the national  and EU level to improve the survival, quality  of care and quality of life of  cancer patients.

Professor Blay has co-authored 880 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on Pubmed,  1630 quoted on web of  science, and distinguished as Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate since 2019. He advises various national and international institutions and research organisations, and is an active member of several oncology scientific organisations and societies, such as ESMO, CTOS, ASCO and AACR.

He has been distinguished with the Hamilton-Fairley Award from ESMO (2012) and the Henry and

Mary-Jane Mitjaville prize from the National Academy of Medicine (2013), the Duquesne Prize of the League contre le Cancer, was awarded the Nina Axelrad Lecture and Prize by the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, Rome (Nov 2018) and received the San Salvatore Prize, San Salvatore Foundation, Switzerland (Nov 2020).

Professor Blay is currently Director of Public Policy of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), serving on the ESMO Executive Board and ESMO Council. He previously served in several positions, including as Scientific Chair for the Sarcoma track  and  contributes since 2005 to the Clinical Practice Guidelines on this theme. He was the Scientific Co-Chair of the ESMO 2019 Congress in Barcelona (29,900 participants).

Professor Blay is managing several research cooperative groups and networks. He is the Director of the LYRICAN Innovative programme of excellence for cancer research granted by the INCA since 2012.  He is also President of the French Sarcoma Group since 2005, the Network director of NETSARC+ network of sarcoma reference center for the INCA since 2019. He serves as Secretary for the World Sarcoma Network (WSN), a think tank of all worldwide sarcoma research groups. He serves as the Network Coordinator of ERN-EURACAN, designated by the EU Commission in 2016 to improve the quality of care for patients with rare cancers in the European Union. Previously, he served as the President of EORTC between 2009 and 2012. He was the former Principal Investigator of Conticanet, an EU Commission network of excellence of FP6, and the PI of the FP7 project EUROSARC.

Last update: January 2023

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