The European Cancer Congress 2013

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ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award

About the Award: The prestigious ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2006 to annually recognise international research teams/individuals with demonstrated commitment to cancer research treatment.



Recipient: Franco Cavalli 

Professor Franco Cavalli was born in Locarno, Switzerland and is married with seven children. He completed his education in internal medicine and medical oncology in Bern, Milan, Brussels and London. He is Scientific Director of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI), Bellinzona, the comprehensive cancer centre for the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.

Prof. Cavalli’s research priorities are new drugs and new treatment modalities, haematological malignancies, including lymphomas, and breast cancer. Initially, he concentrated on leukaemia and represented Switzerland in the Cancer and Leukaemia Group B (CALGB). Later, his research focused on breast cancer.

In recent years, his main interest has been malignant lymphoma. He was instrumental in creating the International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group (IELSG). Every third year, he organises the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland, the leading international forum for basic and clinical research in lymphomas.

He was the founding editor of Annals of Oncology and has authored or co-authored more than 550 scientific articles, four books and together with S. Kaye and H. Hansen, the ‘Textbook of medical oncology’. He has received 22 international awards, including the Pezcoller, Honorary NDDO, Recognition Gredinger in Haifa (Israel) and the Waldman prize in Omaha (Nebraska).

Cavalli was formerly Chairman of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) and the Early Clinical Trials Group of the EORTC.  From 1985-1986 a member of the European Society for Medical Oncology Executive committee, from 2006 to 2008 he was President of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), while from 2001 to 2004 he was President of the Swiss League Against Cancer. He is currently Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the European School of Oncology (ESO) and from 1995 to 2007 he was a member of the Swiss Parliament.