Public Release: 

Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D., IASLC CEO, honored with Addario Foundation Lectureship Award

Award presented at International Lung Cancer Congress

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

DENVER, Colo. - The Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) announced that it selected Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD and the CEO of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) for this year's Addario Foundation Lectureship Award.

The ALCF is an international advocacy non-profit dedicated to reducing the burden of lung cancer. Its Board annually selects an awardee based on their contributions to lung cancer research, education and service. Dr. Hirsch receives the award on July 31 during the 16th International Lung Cancer Congress, held in Huntington Beach, Calif.

"Dr. Hirsch's contribution and dedication to lung cancer research is truly remarkable," says Bonnie J. Addario, a 10-year lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. "We are thrilled to present him with the eighth Addario Lectureship Award to highlight his commitment to eliminating lung cancer worldwide."

The foundation honors Dr. Hirsch, who is also a professor at the University of Colorado, for his lifetime contribution to lung cancer research and his engagement in promoting international collaborations in lung cancer research and education. Dr. Hirsch has been involved in translational-clinical research in lung cancer since he was medical student in Copenhagen, Denmark. His PhD thesis, which was partly done at the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., under the supervision of Dr. Adi F. Gazdar and the late pathologist Mary J. Matthews, included studies on heterogeneity in lung cancer, particularly small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), and broke ground in our understanding of lung cancer carcinogenesis. After returning to Denmark, Dr. Hirsch and the Copenhagen group made significant contributions to the clinical development of etoposide in small-cell lung cancer, which remains the cornerstone of SCLC therapy.

Joining the University of Colorado Cancer Center in 1999, Dr. Hirsch now focuses on development and validation of biomarkers for early detection and particularly on new targeted therapies in lung cancer in order to find the most optimal selection of patient populations to the different new drugs, mostly focused on EGFR inhibitors. Most recently, Dr. Hirsch was co-principal investigator (PI) for the clinical development of a new human antibody, necitumumab, for patients with squamous lung cancer.

Colleagues credit Dr. Hirsch for bringing scientists from around the world together for collaboration in lung cancer research. "No one has devoted more time to IASLC and to global scientific and educational lung cancer activities than Dr. Hirsch," says Professor Paul A. Bunn Jr, Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado and previous CEO of IASLC.

Dr. Tony Mok, MD, Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation Professor of Clinical Oncology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and current IASLC President says, "Dr. Fred Hirsch is more than a leader in lung cancer research. He is a partner, a collaborator and a visionary. His total dedication to IASLC has facilitated major advances for the organization. My heart felt congrats to Fred for this well-deserved lectureship award."

Since he began his career in Copenhagen, Dr. Hirsch has arranged international meetings on biology, early detection and treatment of lung cancer. This fall, Hirsch hosts the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Denver, Colo.

"Dr. Hirsch has trained many international investigators in his lab who today are leading investigators internationally," continues Dr. Bunn. "Dr. Hirsch has co-authored hundreds of scientific papers, and is today leading IASLC to new levels of lung cancer science and education."

Earning many grants throughout his career, Dr. Hirsch currently serves as PI for the prestigious NIH/SPECS Grant which includes eight different institutions focusing on squamous lung cancer. He is also co-PI for projects in the Colorado Lung SPORE program. Dr. Hirsch also serves as the co-chair for SWOG Translational Science Lung Committee.

"I cannot think of a more deserving individual for this award," states David R. Gandara, co-chair of the International Lung Cancer Congress (ILCC) and Chair of the SWOG Lung Committee. "Dr. Hirsch embodies all the characteristics of a translational scientist, plus he possesses a rare leadership quality that facilitates bringing groups of investigators from diverse backgrounds together to form highly productive collaborative research teams. I am proud that this honor will be awarded at our 16th ILCC next week."

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About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes nearly 4,000 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries. For more information, visit: https://www.iaslc.org/.

About the Bonnie Addario Foundation:

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest international philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer through research, early detection, education and treatment. http://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/.

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