Lugano, Switzerland – The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) have announced that the 2017 Heine H. Hansen (HHH) Award will be given to Rafal Dziadziuszko, a global leader in clinical thoracic oncology. The award will be presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2017, held 5 to 8 May in Geneva, Switzerland.
The HHH Award recognises the lifetime contribution of Heine H. Hansen1 to lung cancer research and education globally. Heine Hansen was a president of ESMO, a founder of IASLC and a mentor to many in the field of lung cancer. The HHH Award is presented annually by representatives of both organisations at ELCC, where the recipient will give a keynote lecture.2
The HHH Award acknowledges a lung cancer investigator who has made a special contribution to lung cancer research and education on an international basis. Rafal Dziadziuszko is currently Deputy Head and National Consultant in Radiation Oncology, Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Medical University of Gdansk, and Professor, Medical University of Gdansk. He is a member of ESMO and was previously a member of the ESMO Educational Committee (2011–2016), and the ESMO National Representative for Poland (2009–2011). Dziadziuszko is a member of the IASLC and was a member of the IASLC Pathology Committee during 2011–2013.
Commenting on the importance of the award, Dziadziuszko said: “I met Heine Hansen on several occasions early in my career when he participated in events in Poland and Central-Eastern Europe to motivate us to join pan-European collaboration. This was before the iron curtain and shortly after, when access to international research projects was limited. He believed that our region needed to be fully integrated with European lung cancer research and motivated young oncologists to broaden their research capabilities. I feel I am one of his followers to realise this task.”
Dziadziuszko completed his training in radiotherapy (2001) and medical oncology (2004) at the Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Medical University of Gdansk. He subsequently completed a translational cancer research fellowship at the University of Colorado Cancer Center which was funded by IASLC and the International Union Against Cancer. Between 2005 and 2007 he worked on predictive assays for EGFR targeted therapies in lung cancer, including immunohistochemistry, gene copy number, and activating mutations.
“I spent three very fruitful years at the University of Colorado Cancer Center with one of Heine Hansen’s close colleagues from Denmark – Fred R. Hirsch, who mentored me in translational lung cancer research,” said Dziadziuszko.
Dziadziuszko’s main interests are lung cancer translational and clinical research, and he is a co-author of more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this topic. He has helped organise several academic clinical research studies in Poland and Central Europe and is Vice-Chairman of the Central and East European Oncology Group. His current work includes identification of novel molecular targets for early lung cancer trials, evaluation of novel radiotherapy strategies in thoracic malignancies, and research on lung cancer screening programmes.
Recognising the contribution of others to his career, Dziadziuszko acknowledged John Horton, who advised him to become a clinical oncologist, Jacek Jassem, who introduced him to translational and clinical research in lung cancer at the international level, and Witold Rzyman, lead researcher in lung cancer screening projects.
Dziadziuszko said: “This honour is recognition for our lung cancer group of physicians and allied health care professionals in Gdansk and Poland. Together we have created a team focused on improvement of patient-centred practice with strong emphasis on translational and clinical research. The award motivates us to be more active and to further improve our performance.”
ELCC Steering Committee representative for ESMO, Rolf Stahel, said: “Rafal Dziadziuszko trained in both medical and radiotherapy of lung cancer and is now a leader in clinical thoracic oncology. He has been the principal investigator of many large international clinical trials and is carrying out his goal to realise the vision of Heine Hansen.”
ELCC Steering Committee representative for the IASLC, Fred R. Hirsch, said: “Dziadziuszko is a global leader with extensive international collaborations and a true follower of the ideas of Heine Hansen. Dziadziuszko is a brilliant researcher, a real clinical doctor who cares for his patients, and with a personality, which makes him very much liked and respected all over the world.”
Notes to Editors
- Heine H. Hansen started translational research in lung cancer and collaborated with many investigators in Europe and the US. Early on he saw a need for a formal collaborative framework for investigators focusing on lung cancer and was one of the visionary founders of the IASLC and its journal Lung Cancer. He later became the IASLC’s President and first Executive Director. Prof Hansen played a significant role in ESMO’s evolution and was ESMO President in 1996-1997. At ESMO he contributed to the development of a global curriculum for medical oncology and was instrumental in developing medical oncology as a recognised specialty in Europe. He was also very active in educational activities in the previous Eastern European countries and implemented many clinical trials in this part of Europe.
- The Heine H. Hansen Award will be presented to Prof Dziadziuszko during the Heine H. Hansen Award Lecture on Friday, 5 May 2017 at 13:45, Room B. Keynote lecture: “The Heine Hansen legacy: How can we improve lung cancer research and practice?”.
About the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2017
The European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) has become the reference event in Europe for professionals treating lung cancers. It is organised by the European Society for Medical Oncology and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
ELCC provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary overview of the latest as well as of the state-of-the-art knowledge in thoracic malignancies, covering different aspects such as prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment modalities and the results of basic, clinical and translational research, presented by top international academic experts. Around 2,000 attendees are expected from throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With more than 15,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 130 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. We are committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment.
About the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 5,000 lung cancer specialists in over 100 countries. www.iaslc.org