Alexandria, Va. – The physician who identified the BRCA1 gene as an inherited mutation linked to breast cancer and the father of Tamoxifen, as he is known, are among the notable awardees set to be honored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) at their upcoming Annual Meeting.
Each year through the Special Awards Program, ASCO identifies those individuals whose personal commitment to furthering the progress against cancer has led to tremendous advances in the field. Research scientists and others dedicated to improving the lives of people living with cancer are nominated to receive ASCO’s highest, most prestigious awards. The collective efforts of this year’s recipients are credited with important strides in bettering the care of children and older adults with cancer in addition to impacting cancer prevention and developing new treatment modalities.
“Here is a group of highly-accomplished individuals, each of whom is using their immense talents for the compassionate purpose of improving the prevention, treatment and care of cancer,” said Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, FACP, ASCO Past President and Chair of the Special Awards Committee. “It is our honor to bestow upon them ASCO’s highest awards of achievement.”
The 2008 Special Awards honorees include:
V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc is the recipient of the 2008 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award for his pioneering breast cancer research advances. Dr. Jordan was the first scientist to demonstrate tamoxifen’s effectiveness in the prevention of breast cancer, and he has been instrumental in the creation of several “designer estrogens.” Dr. Jordan presently serves as Vice President for Medical Science at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he also serves as the Alfred G. Knudson, Jr., MD, PhD, Chair in Cancer Research. He will be honored on Saturday, May 31 at 9:45 AM (CDT) in N Hall B1 following the opening ceremony and Presidential Address. At this time, he will also present a lecture titled: The Paradoxical Actions of Estrogen in Breast Cancer: Survival or Death?
The Science of Oncology Award will be presented to Mary-Claire King, PhD who serves as the American Cancer Society Research Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. She was the first to provide evidence of the genetic inheritance of breast cancer through her work on the genomic localization of the BRCA1 gene, for which she holds a U.S. Patent. She also holds U.S. Patents for a variety of other genetic markers of breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. King will be honored on Sunday, June 1 at 1:00 PM (CDT) in N Hall B1 and will present a lecture titled:Genomic Analysis of Inherited Breast and Ovarian Cancer.
Patricia A. Ganz, MD is a Professor of Health Services and Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She has spent 25 years investigating quality-of-life and quality-of-care outcomes in patients with cancer. ASCO is pleased to recognize Dr. Ganz’s tireless efforts on behalf of people living with cancer and cancer survivors. In honor of her leadership in the fields of breast cancer research and prevention, she will receive the American Cancer Society Award on Monday, June 2 at 11:30 AM (CDT) in room S404. Dr. Ganz will also present a lecture titled: Improving Outcomes for Cancer Survivors: Lessons Learned from the Treatment of Breast Cancer at this time.
The B.J. Kennedy Award for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology will be presented to Hyman B. Muss, MD Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He is also Co-Chair of the Cancer in the Elderly Working Group for the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer and Leukemia Group B. Dr. Muss has devoted his career to the study of breast cancer in older women and to the improvement of care for these patients. Dr. Muss will receive his award on Monday, June 2 at 3:00 PM (CDT) in room S406 and present a lecture titled: Older Women with Breast Cancer; the Silent Majority.
The 2008 Pediatric Oncology Award will be presented to Larry E. Kun, MD Chair of the Department of Radiological Science at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics and Radiology at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. A dedicated research scientist, his studies focus on radiation therapy and the functional outcomes of pediatric cancers. Dr. Kun will receive his award on Monday, June 2 at 1:15 PM (CDT) in room S100a and will present a lecture titled:Clinical Investigation – The Standard of Care for Children and Adolescents with Central Nervous System Tumors.
The Distinguished Service Award for Scientific Achievement will be presented to Joseph R. Bertino, MD for his dedication to cancer research and scientific inquiry, as well as his exceptional record of service to the Society. Dr. Bertino’s investigation of mechanisms of resistance to drugs such as methotrexate has garnered him numerous accolades. He presently serves as the Interim Director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and is a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Bertino will receive his award at the President’s Dinner on Friday, May 30.
ASCO Past President Karen H. Antman, MD who serves as the Provost of the Medical Campus and Dean of the School of Medicine at Boston University will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award for Scientific Leadership. Dr. Antman is an internationally renowned expert in the field of breast cancer. She is widely recognized for her development of a standard treatment regimen for sarcoma. She will receive her award at the President’s Dinner on Friday, May 30.
The Society also plans to pay special tribute to its members whose significant volunteer efforts have led to the betterment of the organization. The 55 ASCO members who have given 20 or more years of volunteer service will receive the Statesman Award during a private gathering.
All awards will be presented at the Society’s 44th Annual Meeting taking place in Chicago May 30 – June 3 at McCormick Place.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 25,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org/presscenter. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net.