Prof Nathan I. Cherny, MD, was born and brought up in Melbourne, Australia. He studied medicine at Monash University Medical School where he graduated in 1983 with high distinction. He then completed his Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians attaining specialist recognition in both Oncology and Palliative Medicine. During that time he established the undergraduate training programme in palliative care at Monash University. In 1994 he completed a fellowship in Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York.
In 1994 Dr. Cherny joined with Prof. Raphael Catane to establish the Oncology and Palliative Medicine Unit at the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. He continues to head the Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine Service and in addition, maintains an active practice in general oncology. Since 1997 Prof. Cherny has served on the research steering committee of the European Association of Palliative Care.
Cherny helped to establish the ESMO Palliative Care Working Group in 1999, which he chaired from 2008 to 2013. He led the ESMO initiative to develop policies on the role of the oncologist in palliative care, oncology training for medical oncologists and minimal standards for palliative care in cancer centres. He was instrumental in setting up the ESMO Designated Centres of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care programme in 2003, the premier initiative worldwide for providing a structured model to develop integrated programmes in oncology and palliative care.
Cherny spearheaded the European and Global Opioid Policy Initiatives on formulary availability and regulatory barriers to access to opioids for cancer pain which were published in Annals of Oncology in 2010 and 2013, respectively. The global survey produced the first data of its kind for regions throughout the world and positioned ESMO as an international leader in palliative care.
Most recently, Cherny formulated the idea of developing a scale to evaluate the magnitude of clinical benefit of cancer medicines and served as a member of the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale Task Force whose work culminated in an acclaimed publication in May 2015.
In 2007 Cherny was appointed to the Norman Levan Chair of Humanistic Medicine at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre and in 2008 became associate professor in medicine at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He has served on the research steering committee of the European Association of Palliative Care since 1997-2005, and is the senior editor of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine.
Cherny is one of the lead coordinators of the ESMO European Consortium Study launched in April 2014 which aims to provide data on the availability of licensed anti-neoplastic medicines in Europe. Another brainchild of Cherny’s for which he is editorial director is the ESMO booklet, ‘A guide for patients with advanced cancer – Getting the most out of your oncologist’ which was produced in 2011 and is now available in eleven languages.
Dr Cherny currently is a member of the ESMO Designated Centre Working Group and the ESMO Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Working Group.
In 2015 Nathan Cherny was awarded the acclaimed ESMO Award.