Special Awards and Lectures Presented During 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting


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Recipients of ASCO’s Notable Awards and Lectures are individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the research and treatment of patients with cancer. These individuals were honored during several special sessions held during ASCO’s 53rd Annual Meeting, where more than 30,000 physicians, researchers, and health-care professionals were convened from over 100 countries at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago.

David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture

The David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture honors the late David A. Karnofsky, MD, and since 1970 it has been presented annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of cancer research, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Dr. Karnofsky was a man who dedicated himself to the pursuit of scientific excellence and the investigation of more effective therapies for cancer for nearly 30 years, from the time he was a resident at the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research of Harvard University until his death from lung cancer on August 31, 1969. The yearly David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture is a permanent memorial to honor Dr. Karnofsky’s body of work. It is ASCO’s highest scientific honor.

Carl H. June, MD

Carl H. June, MD

The 2017 recipient of the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture is Carl H. June, MD. Dr. June is Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation related to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection. In 2011, Dr. June’s research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells (Porter DL, Levine BL, Kalos M, Bagg A, June CH: N Engl J Med 365: 725–733, 2011; erratum* in N Engl J Med 374:998, 2016). The treatment is now being used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.


Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture

First presented in 2007 and named in honor of cancer research pioneer Gianni Bonadonna, MD, this award recognizes an active clinical and/or translational researcher with a distinguished record of accomplishments in advancing the field of breast cancer and with exceptional mentoring abilities.

Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO

Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO

The 2017 recipient of the Gianni Bonadonna Award and Lecture is Eric P. Winer, MD, FASCO.

Dr. Winer has devoted his professional career to breast cancer research and the treatment of individuals with breast cancer. He is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and holds several appointments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His group at Dana-Farber conducts a broad array of breast cancer research with the goal of extending the lives of individuals with breast cancer and minimizing morbidity from the disease and its treatments. 


Science of Oncology Award and Lecture

Created in 2005, the Science of Oncology Award and Lecture is presented annually in recognition of a recipient’s outstanding contributions to basic or translational research in cancer.

Brian J. Druker, MD

Brian J. Druker, MD

The 2017 recipient of the Science of Oncology Award and Lecture is Brian J. Druker, MD.

Dr. Druker is Director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Druker’s work helped pioneer the practice of precision, or personalized, cancer medicine, by performing preclinical studies and leading clinical trials that were instrumental to the development of imatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia.

Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture 

Created in 2016, the inaugural Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture recognizes a recipient who has drastically changed the oncology field or who has made significant contributions to advance the mission of ASCO, CancerLinQ LLC, or the Conquer Cancer Foundation through the honoree’s ability to lead and inspire.

Patrick J. Loehrer, MD, FASCO

Patrick J. Loehrer, MD, FASCO

The 2017 recipient of the Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture is Patrick J. Loehrer, MD, FASCO.

Dr. Loehrer is recognized as a prolific clinical researcher and specialist in the treatment of a variety of cancers, including testicular, bladder, colon, pancreas, and, most notably, thymic. His research on the drug ifosfamide led to its approval by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Loehrer is Director of the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and Associate Dean for Cancer Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Loehrer was the founding Chair of the Hoosier Oncology Group (now Hoosier Cancer Research Network) for 2 decades, which conducted trials in 20 countries around the world.


Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture

First presented in 2002, the Pediatric Oncology Award recognizes the career and achievements of an individual who has contributed outstanding scientific work–laboratory, clinical, or epidemiologic–of major importance to the field of pediatric oncology.

Michael P. Link, MD, FASCO

Michael P. Link, MD, FASCO

The 2017 recipient of the Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture is Michael P. Link, MD, FASCO.

Dr. Link is the Lydia J. Lee Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His research interests include the biology and treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphomas and Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as clinical management of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas in children. Throughout his career, he has developed, conducted, and published seminal clinical research that has changed how common pediatric cancers are treated. Dr. Link was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology for 10 years and is a former ASCO President.

ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture

First presented in 1993, the ASCO-ACS Award and Lecture recognizes significant contributions to cancer prevention and control research or practice.

Dean E. Brenner, MD, FASCO

Dean E. Brenner, MD, FASCO

The 2017 recipient of the ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture is Dean E. Brenner, MD, FASCO.

Dr. Brenner is the Kutsche Family Memorial Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. His scientific career has been devoted to translational research in cancer therapeutics with the long-term goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer. To pursue these scientific goals, he has targeted eicosanoids, primarily in the colonic mucosa as mechanistic therapeutic targets and as biomarkers for drugs, nutritional extracts, and dietary interventions aimed at reversing or delaying carcinogenesis progression. Because of the dearth of useful endpoints to define preventive therapeutic efficacy, he has emphasized biomarker discovery and validation platforms that enable interrogation of molecular carcinogenesis events in representative models of human biology.


B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology

Created in 2007 in honor of B.J. Kennedy, MD, this award and lectureship recognizes an ASCO member who has made outstanding contributions to the research, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the elderly, and in bringing an understanding of geriatric oncology among fellows and junior faculty.

Jean-Pierre Droz, MD, PhD

Jean-Pierre Droz, MD, PhD

The 2017 recipient of the B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture is Jean-Pierre Droz, MD, PhD.

Dr. Droz has dedicated his work to the integration of geriatric assessment in decision making for treating older people with cancer and was key in the development of geriatric oncology in France and other countries acting through the International Society of Geriatric Oncology. Dr. Droz was an attending physician at the Léon-Bérard Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Professor of Medical Oncology at the Claude-Bernard-Lyon 1 University in Lyon, France. Now in retirement, he is an attending physician of medical oncology in hospitals in French Guiana and teaches at the French Guiana and West Indies University Medical School.

*Erratum: The paper by Porter et al (N Engl J Med 365:725-733, 2011) omitted an acknowledgment of work associated with the chimeric antigen receptor that was used in the studies. The acknowledgments at the end of this and two related articles should have included the following sentence: “Drs. Dario Campana and Chihaya Imai and others at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital designed, developed, and provided under material transfer agreements the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that was used in this study.” The articles are correct at NEJM.org.



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