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ESMO Awards recognise four outstanding oncologists

20 Jul 2017

LUGANO, Switzerland, 20 July 2017 – The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the leading professional organisation for medical oncology, has announced the recipients of its four distinguished annual awards, to be presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress (8-12 September, Madrid, Spain).

Receiving the ESMO Award, Miguel Martin is recognised for his important contributions in the field of breast cancer.


Martin is President of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), Professor of Medicine at the Complutense University and Head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañon, in Madrid.

“Miguel Martin is considered a world leader in the field of breast cancer research and treatment,” said Christoph Zielinski, on behalf of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee. “He has contributed major publications and designed and implemented an abundance of important clinical trials in the field.”

Commenting on the significance of the award, Martin said he considers it an honour that he shares with SEOM and the Spanish Group for Breast Cancer Research (GEICAM), which he chairs.

“It is recognition not only of my own personal contribution to research in medical oncology and breast cancer, but also our collective work that is often a collaborative effort with other European and American groups,” he said.

The ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award has been given to José Baselga for his pivotal role in breast cancer drug development.


Baselga is Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

His research led to the approval of trastuzumab, pertuzumab and everolimus, among other therapies.

“José Baselga is a true giant of modern oncology,” said Zielinski. “He has not only contributed immensely to clinical research, but has had remarkable success in the translation of that science into patient benefit.”

Saying he was “deeply touched”, Baselga highlighted the award’s “unique personal dimension” saying, “I have had the privilege to serve this wonderful and vibrant society for many years and I fully support its critical role.”

The ESMO Award for Translational Research goes to Alberto Bardelli, for his liquid biopsy work in the field of metastatic colorectal cancer.


Bardelli is a Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Torino, Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, and deputy Director of the Candiolo Cancer Institute-IRCCS in Torino, Italy.

“Professor Bardelli is a highly-respected geneticist and world-renowned expert in the field of precision medicine,” noted Zielinski. “His work in the area of liquid biopsies has led to paradigm-changing applications in the clinic.”

Commenting on his award, Bardelli said “This award acknowledges the work of my entire team. In the last five years, our efforts to define how genomic alterations drive tumours, and how oncogenic events affect the ability of cancer cells to evade drugs, have translated into new ideas for clinical trials, which has been extremely gratifying.”

Frances Shepherd receives the ESMO Women for Oncology Award for her continuous support of women oncologists.


Shepherd is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada.

“Frances Shepherd has been a true role model, supporting and furthering the careers of women in oncology, on top of making outstanding academic contributions in the field of lung cancer” said Zielinski. “She is a devoted advocate for equality in oncology careers.” 

“I am thrilled and honoured, and see it as a culmination of my very gratifying and rewarding career in medical oncology over the past 30 years. During this time, I have seen women make enormous advances in medicine in general, and medical oncology in particular,” said Shepherd, who has played an instrumental role in the design and conduct of research studies on new targeted therapies and anti-angiogenesis agents in lung cancer. “

Shepherd served as Chair of the Lung Cancer Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group for 19 years and was President of International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) from 2003 to 2005.


Notes to Editors

  • The ESMO Award, ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award, and ESMO Award for Translational Research will be presented during the Opening Session of the ESMO 2017 Congress on 8 September 2017, 12:00–13:20 (CEST) in the Madrid Auditorium of the Ifema, Madrid.
  • The ESMO Women for Oncology Award will be presented during the Women for Oncology Session at the ESMO 2017 Congress on 9 September 2017, 11:00–12:30 (CEST) in the Alicante Auditorium of the Ifema, Madrid.

Info on all ESMO awards is available here

About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)

ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With more than 16,000 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.

Last update: 20 Jul 2017

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