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

Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D. Honored With Awards for Leadership in Breast Cancer Treatment, Research
M. D. Anderson News Release 06/04/04

Recognizing that his leadership and research excellence has led to new advancesin the treatment of breast cancer, Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., professor of medicine and chair of M. D. Anderson’s Department of Breast Medical Oncology, has been honored with the Miami Breast Cancer Award of Excellence and two research grants from the Evelyn Lauder Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Hortobagyi was presented with the Award of Excellence by the Miami Breast Cancer Conference. The award presentation was preceded by a description of Dr. Hortobagyi’s career and contributions by the internationally renowned physician and breast cancer expert, Martine J. Piccart, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Chemotherapy Department at the Jules Bordet Institute, in Brussels, and chairwoman of the Breast International Group (BIG), in Belgium. Presented annually, the Miami Breast Cancer Award of Excellence is given to those who have had a tremendous impact on breast cancer management.

Additionally, Hortobagyi and his M. D. Anderson colleagues have been recognized with two grants totally $375,000 from The Evelyn Lauder Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Hortobagyi and Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, were awarded $250,000 for their work in gene therapy research. To further study individualized treatment programs, BCRF awarded Hortobagyi and Lajos Pusztai, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology, $125,000.

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 percent 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. Last year, he was also presented with the Horizon Achievement Award in Breast Cancer Research from Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as well as the Glenn Robbins Award, given jointly by the New York Metropolitan Breast Group and the New York Cancer Society.

Hortobagyi has contributed more than 700 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.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center