Dr. Martine Piccart to receive the “2017 St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Award” on 15 March 2017

Intro text: 

Foundation SONK (St. Gallen Oncology Conferences) is honouring Professor Martine Piccart for her extraordinary clinical research contribution in the advancement of early, curative breast cancer research and treatment, as well as for her faithfulness to the cause and mission of SONK’s ongoing line of international, practice-optimising St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conferences.

The “2017 St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Award” will be presented to Prof. Piccart at the opening session of the 15th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference, on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 14:30 to 15:30, at the Austria Center Vienna in Vienna/Austria.  In this context, Dr. Piccart will also give a lecture entitled "De-escalation of adjuvant systemic therapy for breast cancer: The Myth of Sisyphus of the 21st century."  

Martine J. Piccart, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of oncology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and head of medicine at the Jules Bordet Institute (Brussels/Belgium). Earning her medical degrees at ULB and oncology qualifications in New York and London, she is also a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine. Prof. Piccart is a past president of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO, 2014-2015). She has also held presidencies of the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), and has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Board (ASCO).

A strong advocate for and leader of international research collaborations, Prof. Martine Piccart, together with Prof. Aron Goldhirsch, co-founded in 1996 the Breast International Group (BIG) to foster collaboration and accelerate the development of better breast cancer treatments. The organisation, which she chairs, unites 56 academic breast cancer research groups from around the world. BIG has more than 30 clinical trials under its umbrella at any one time, and several of BIG’s studies are considered landmark and practice-changing.

Prof. Piccart’s relentless drive for results has made her an international leader who has forged collaborations all over the world and has successfully conducted several high-profile, Phase 3 clinical trials involving a majority of BIG collaborative groups, many hundreds of international investigators and institutions and thousands of patientsThese clinical trials include HERA(HERceptin Adjuvant), MINDACT (Microarray In Node-Negative and 1 to 3 Positive Lymph Node Disease May Avoid Chemotherapy), and ALTTO (Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimisation).

BIG is also conducting AURORA, an innovative molecular screening programme aiming to understand the molecular aberrations driving breast cancer metastasis and why tumours respond differently to therapy. Over 80 hospitals associated with 9 BIG research groups in 14 countries are taking part. Prof. Piccart believes this type of research will enable much more effective treatment of metastatic breast cancer in the future.

Throughout her career, Prof. Piccart has been honoured with numerous prestigious awards for her research contributions, including the Jill Rose Award for distinguished biomedical research (2009, New York, USA), the William L. McQuire Award in recognition of her contribution in breast cancer research (2009, SABCS, San Antonio/Texas, USA), the Umberto Veronesi Award for the Future Fight Against Cancer (2012, Cancun, Mexico), the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award in recognition of innovative clinical research and developments that have changed the way oncologists think about the general practice of oncology (2013, ASCO, Chicago, USA) and the Susan G. Komen’s Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction (2015, SABCS, San Antonio/Texas, USA).

An accomplished clinician and scientist, Prof. Piccart is author or co-author of over 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals.