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Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D. Honored for Leadership in Breast Cancer Treatment, Research

Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D. Honored for Leadership in Breast Cancer Treatment, Research
M. D. Anderson News Release 04/11/03

Recognizing that his leadership and research excellence has led to new advances in the treatment of breast cancer, Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., professor of medicine and chair of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center's Department of Breast Medical Oncology, has been awarded the 2003 Horizon Achievement Award in Cancer Research.

The award, which is given annually by Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, recognizes an individual who has exhibited exemplary leadership in the fight against cancer.

"To be honored by entities such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Komen Foundation, both of whom have a mutual dedication to cancer care, is truly an honor," Hortobagyi says. "It's an extremely exciting time to be in research, a time that has furthered our understanding of what genetic processes instigate breast cancer development, metastasis and recurrence. We also have demonstrated that chemoprevention and specific molecular interventions can work, and we have developed several promising new drugs."

Hortobagyi, who holds the Nellie B. Connally Chair in Breast Cancer, has been a member of M. D. Anderson's faculty since 1976. He is widely recognized for developing combined modality therapy for previously inoperable breast tumors, improving multidisciplinary treatment for  patients with all stages of the disease and conducting clinical trials to develop treatment regimens that have become standard practices for managing breast cancer.

Early in his career, Hortobagyi conducted what is now considered a landmark study. This research involved giving chemotherapy prior to surgery to breast cancer patients with locally advanced tumors that had not spread to other parts of the body. The study concluded that many large tumors could be reduced by as much as 50% with the preoperative chemotherapy, and then removed surgically. In 1988, he published a 10-year study that showed a three-drug regimen administered before surgery, and radiation therapy after surgery, produced promising results for breast cancer patients with advanced disease. This approach to therapy was later applied with increased success to earlier stages of operable breast cancer.

Hortobagyi and his fellow M. D. Anderson researchers are also known for the establishment of the role of bisphosphonates in the management of patients with bone metastases and the introduction of paclitaxel and docetaxel in the management of metastatic and primary breast cancer.

Other major honors recognizing Hortobagyi's dedication to the treatment and research of breast cancer include the 1995 Cino del Duca Award, the 1997 Brinker International Award for Clinical Research, the 1997 medal of the Japanese Surgical Society and the Sir Peter Freyer Medal in Galway, Ireland. In 1999, he received the Vermeille Medal from the city of Paris, and in 2001, President Jacques Chirac named him Chevalier of the Order of la Legion d'Honneur de France.

Hortobagyi has contributed more than 600 articles to scientific journals. He was co-founder of the World Summit Against Cancer, an international group of scientists, health care professionals, patient advocates, economists, lawmakers and celebrities who are campaigning to ensure people worldwide receive the most advanced treatment for cancer.

Past recipients of the Horizon Leadership Award include Drs. Dennis Slamon, Larry Norton and Edith Perez.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center