ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award

The prestigious ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2006 to recognise international research by individuals, teams and organisations that demonstrate commitment to clinical cancer research and/or education. It is awarded as a recognition for outstanding lifetime achievements in oncology.

The award consists of the opportunity to give a scientific lecture, a prize and free registration, free accommodation and reimbursement of travel expenses to ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid, Spain.

Nomination closed 4 April 2017

Eligibility criteria

In order to be considered for the award, a nominee must:

  • Be an internationally recognised individual, team or organisation in any relevant discipline in the field of oncology
  • Demonstrate an affiliation to a major academic or cancer research / treatment institution(s)
  • Possess an international reputation and demonstrated lifetime commitment to clinical cancer research and/or education
  • Be renowned for their outstanding achievements carried out in clinical cancer research and/or education
  • Have published results on cancer research topics in highly cited peer-reviewed journals
  • Have not previously received the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Not be or represented by a current or recent (last two years) member of either the  ESMO Executive Board or the  ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee

Nomination and selection process

Nominations may be made by ESMO members* in good standing, and within the stated deadline via the online form established for this purpose. You will be asked to sign in to your myESMO account in order to fill in the nomination form.  Members cannot nominate themselves.All nominations will be evaluated by the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee. After careful deliberations by the committee, its recommendations are forwarded to the ESMO Executive Board for final consideration and selection.*All ESMO members with the exception of undergraduate students can nominate

Previous winners ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award

2016 – Richard Peto, UK

Sir Richard Peto FRS is Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH). He, working with his colleagues Richard Gray, Rory Collins and several dozen leading breast cancer researchers, founded the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) in 1985, which has substantially improved the routine management of early breast cancer and influenced clinical trial strategies. Peto was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1989 for meta-analyses of randomised trials of treatments for breast cancer and for vascular disease.

Richard Peto

The ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award recognises not just Richard Peto but the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group as a whole, including the patients and staff in hundreds of randomised trials. The EBCTCG’s large-scale randomised evidence has helped identify several of the moderate treatment gains that have, since 1990, already halved European breast cancer death rates in middle age.

Richard Peto, 2016 ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Richard Peto, 2016 ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award winnerBy their large trials, prospective studies and worldwide meta-analyses, Peto and his colleagues have increased substantially the estimated importance of blood lipids, blood pressure and smoking as causes of premature death. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1999 for his epidemiological studies of the hazards of smoking and benefits of stopping, and was the first to describe clearly the future worldwide health effects of current smoking patterns, predicting one billion deaths from tobacco in the present century if current smoking patterns persist, as against 'only' 100 million in the 20th century.On behalf of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, Christoph Zielinski said: “Prof. Richard Peto has contributed constantly over the years to the prevention of cancer and to the improvement of breast cancer treatment in Europe and the world. It is, therefore, why the ESMO Fellowships and Awards Committee has unanimously voted for Richard Peto to be the recipient of the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award 2016.”

  • 2015 - Nagahiro Saijo, Japan
  • 2014 - Peter Boyle, France
  • 2013 – Franco Cavalli, Switzerland
  • 2012 – European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Belgium
  • 2011 - Hans Jörg Senn, Switzerland
  • 2010 - Alan H. Calvert, United Kingdom
  • 2009 - Alan Ashworth, United Kingdom
  • 2008 - Emil M. Costa, Spain
  • 2007 - Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI)
  • 2006 - Breast International Group (BIG)

*All ESMO members are eligible to nominate candidates with the exception of student members (undergraduate medical and science students)