Clinical research award 2011

The European CanCer Organisation Clinical Research Award

The ECCO Clinical Research Award is conferred in recognition of an outstanding international contribution to the integration of scientific research and clinical practice in the field of cancer.


2011 Award: Richard Gelber and Aron Goldhirsch

In 2011, the ECCO Clinical Research Award will be presented to Professor Richard Gelber (USA) and Professor Aron Goldhirsch (CH) on the occasion of the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm, during the Presidential session of Monday 26th September.

  Richard D. Gelber is Professor of Paediatrics (Biostatistics) at the Harvard Medical School and Professor in Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA. He has been Statistical Director for the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) since 1978 and senior independent statistician for several trials conducted by the Breast International Group (BIG) since 1998.

Dr Gelber is co-developer of two statistical methodologies designed to enhance interpretation of clinical trial data. The Quality-adjusted Time Without Symptoms of disease or Toxicity of treatment method (Q-TWiST) incorporates quality-of-life considerations into treatment comparisons, while the Subpopulation Treatment Effect Pattern Plots (STEPP) methodology facilitates interpretation of treatment effect heterogeneity derived from different patient subsets.

Dr Gelber has received numerous honours including the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Breast Cancer Clinical Research and an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Göteborg, Sweden.


Dr Aron Goldhirsch is Director of the Department of Medicine at the European Institute of Oncology, Milan Italy, and Director of the Swiss Centre for Breast Health at Sant’Anna Clinics in Lugano, Switzerland. He has held a number of positions, including Chairman of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research, and Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. He has been Co-Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) since 1978. A strong commitment to international cooperation and to the conduct of clinical trials led to his chairing the Update Committee of the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group and becoming Vice-Chair of the Breast International Group (BIG).

Dr Goldhirsch’s research areas include new adjuvant treatments for breast cancer, definition of biological features that predict responsiveness or resistance to anti-cancer treatments, and quality-of-life-oriented approaches. Dr Goldhirsch has received several international prizes, including the Robert Wenner Prize, (Swiss Cancer League), San Salvatore Prize, the Swiss Lavezzari Prize, and the joint 2006 ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award (with Prof. Martine Piccart). He was co-recipient of the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction (2008) and received the Umberto Veronesi Award for the Future Fight Against Breast Cancer (2010). He is author of 628 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, editor or co-editor of ten books, and serves on the editorial board of several oncology and breast cancer research journals.

Previous recipients of this award have been E. van der Schueren, K. Lundhom, H. zur Hausen, G. Bonadonna, M. Overgaard, L. Påhlman, P. Kleihues, P. Isaacson, R. Peto, C. van de Velde, Martine Piccart and Bill Heald.

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