The ESMO Award for Immuno-Oncology 2023 was bestowed to Steven A. Rosenberg in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the field of cancer immunology research. Rosenberg is Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland (US) and Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. (US).
Rosenberg pioneered the first effective immunotherapies for patients with advanced cancer. His basic and clinical studies of interleukin-2 directly resulted in the approval of this immunotherapy by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma and renal cancer, many of whom remain disease-free over 25 years after treatment. His studies of cell transfer immunotherapy that resulted in durable complete remissions in patients with metastatic melanoma were the first to directly demonstrate the effective role of T lymphocytes in human cancer immunotherapy. He pioneered the development of gene therapy and was the first to successfully insert foreign genes into humans. He was the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of genetically engineered CAR-T cells to mediate the regression of B-cell malignancies in humans, a treatment now approved by the FDA for widespread use. In recent work Rosenberg established new approaches for the application of immunotherapy to patients with a variety of common solid epithelial cancers by targeting the unique mutations present in the patient’s cancer.
Rosenberg will deliver his award lecture on Wednesday, 6 December 2023 at the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress 2023 Opening session.