MD Anderson faculty members awarded at ASCO Annual Meeting
For their role in transforming cancer care, three MD Anderson faculty received the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Special Awards – the society’s highest honors – during its annual meeting in early June.
John Mendelsohn, M.D., received the Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes leadership or mentorship by a scientist, practitioner, or researcher in any oncology subspecialty that has benefited ASCO members and members’ patients.
Mendelsohn is a professor of Genomic Medicine and director of the Zayed Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy at MD Anderson. He has devoted his professional career as an oncology clinician, investigator, and leader, serving as president of MD Anderson from 1996 to 2011.
Mendelsohn developed the targeted therapy cetuximab, which led to an entirely new class of drugs that have transformed cancer treatment by targeting tumors based on their genetic and molecular mutations.
Karen Lu, M.D., received the ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture, which recognizes significant contributions to cancer prevention and control, research, or practice.
Her primary clinical interests include treating women who have or are at high risk for ovarian and endometrial cancers. She is a national leader in the cancer genetics field and has published seminal articles on hereditary gynecologic cancers.
Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., is the recipient of the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture, which recognizes a clinical or translational researcher with exceptional mentoring abilities and a demonstrated record of achievement in advancing the field of breast cancer care and research.
Hortobagyi is professor of Breast Medical Oncology and program director of the cancer center’s Susan G. Komen Interdisciplinary Breast Fellowship Program.
His research led to the development of the drug everolimus to treat various kinds of cancer, and more recently, the clinical development of CDK4/6 inhibitors. He developed, implemented, and chaired the MONALEESA-2 Phase III trial which assessed the efficacy and safety of ribociclib in combination with letrozole in patients with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer. Hortobagyi served as president of ASCO from 2006 to 2007.
ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation also presented its awards to three MD Anderson faculty.
Mariana Chavez MacGregor, M.D., received the foundation’s Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer to support her research titled, “Understanding barriers and decreasing the time to chemotherapy in a vulnerable population: Pilot study of a targeted intervention.”