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TAT 2020 Honorary Award: a Recognition in Cancer Drug Development to Lillian Siu

ESMO is pleased to announce that Lillian L. Siu will receive the TAT 2020 Honorary Award for her contributions in the development of new anticancer drugs.

11 Feb 2020
Cancer Research

LUGANO, Switzerland – The European Society for Medical Oncology is pleased to announce that Lillian L. Siu, Professor at the University of Toronto and Medical Oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, will receive the TAT 2020 Honorary Award in recognition of her pivotal contributions in the development of new anticancer drugs, particularly with respect to phase I trials in head and neck malignancies.


The award will be presented during the ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress 2020, to be held in Paris, France, 2-4 March. (1)

The TAT Honorary Award was established in the early 1990s to acknowledge distinguished cancer drug development experts who have devoted a major part of their careers to the discovery and development of better anticancer medicines. 

Over the past years, Siu has majorly advanced the field of early drug development, as Director of the Phase I Programme and Co-Director of the Bras and Family Drug Development Programme at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She holds the BMO Chair in Precision Genomics and is also the Clinical Lead for the Tumour Immunotherapy Programme at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. 

Throughout her career, Siu has been involved in the development of numerous novel cytotoxic agents, molecularly targeted agents and immunotherapeutics, providing scientific and clinical direction for protocols design, endpoints and implementation. She has a track record of publications in the areas of innovative clinical trial designs and methodology and has also led multiple investigator-initiated early phase trials focusing on molecular and immune mechanisms of resistance to immune checkpoint blockade. 

On accepting the award, Siu said: “I am immensely honoured to receive this award, which is particularly special to me as it recognises my work in the field of early drug development as impactful for the community. The TAT Congress is a unique nexus that catalyses advancements in oncological therapeutics by translating emerging knowledge in cancer biology and host immune system into clinical applications, and by incorporating technological advances to decode and characterise tumours and their microenvironment. With a growing armamentarium of anticancer agents, it is an exciting time to be an early drug developer.”

In addition to her research involvement, Siu is also devoted to educating the next generation of medical oncologists: she has been a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto since 2009 and has mentored over 40 junior investigators. “It is a very rewarding endeavour to train the next generation of early drug developers, and even more gratifying when many of these trainees subsequently return to their home countries and successfully build their own research programmes,” she said.

Looking at the future, Siu sees the evolution of oncology drug development “very much individualised for each patient, based on dynamic molecular evaluations of their disease and their immune system, through the incorporation of novel algorithms and technologies such as artificial intelligence, and the use of adaptive clinical trial designs that are enhanced by real world evidence.”

Notes to Editors

Please make sure to use the official name of the meeting in your reports: ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress 2020

Official Congress Hashtag: #TAT20


  1. Prof. Siu will deliver her keynote lecture entitled “Rear view mirror and crystal ball of oncology drug development” during the TAT 2020 opening and welcome session, Monday 02 March, from 9:00 to 9:30 in Amphithéatre Bordeaux

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