Public Release: 

First ESMO award for immuno-oncology goes to Laurence Zitvogel

To be presented at the ESMO Immuno Oncology Congress 2017 during her keynote lecture about 'Introducing the gut microbiome into the complexity of anticancer immunosurveillance'

European Society for Medical Oncology


IMAGE: The ESMO Immuno Oncology Award 2017 goes to Prof Laurence Zitvogel. view more 

Credit: INSERM

LUGANO, Switzerland, 19 October 2017 - The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has granted the newly established ESMO Award for Immuno-Oncology (1) to Prof Laurence Zitvogel for her innovating and internationally recognised achievements in the field.

"Prof Zitvogel's discoveries in the area of immuno-oncology have served as the foundation for important advances and our understanding of the fundamentals of cancer immunology," said Christoph Zielinski, on behalf of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee. "In presenting her with the ESMO Award for Immuno-Oncology we are recognising her preeminent and pioneering role in the field," noted Zielinski.

Zitvogel, MD, PhD, is professor of Immunobiology at the University of Paris XI Medical School and scientific director at the Department of Immuno-Oncology, Gustave Roussy Cancer Centre, in Villejuif, France. She is also the director of U1015 INSERM Tumour Immunology and Immunotherapy Laboratory at INSERM and co-director of the Centre for Clinical Investigation in Biotherapies of Cancer, INSERM.

The ESMO Award for Immuno-Oncology was created this year in commemoration of the European pioneer in cancer research in immunology, founding member and first President of ESMO, Prof Georges Mathé. It will be presented to Prof Zitvogel during the ESMO Immuno Oncology Congress 2017 taking place in Geneva, 7-10 December 2017 (2), during the keynote lecture about "Introducing the gut microbiome into the complexity of anticancer immunosurveillance" (3).

Laurence Zitvogel has dedicated her career to advancing the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy. She is a devoted educator having directed the work of many postdoctoral fellows. She has authored or co-authored over 350 publications. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and founder of one of the first journals in immune-oncology, "OncoImmunology."

Commenting on the award, Zitvogel said: "I am honoured to receive this award, which acknowledges the work of, not only my team and Gustave Roussy colleagues, but also that of the European pioneers who relentlessly paved the way for the relevance of the immune system in long-term cures obtained in patients treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immune-targeted antibodies."

Her current research falls into three main categories: studying the modes of action of immune checkpoint inhibitors and seeking predictors of response to immunomodulators; defining the role of the gut microbiome in cancer immunosurveillance, and deciphering the molecular mechanisms of immunogenic cell death.

Zitvogel added: "I feel indebted to our inspiring father and chairman, the Nobel Prize winner Ralph Steinman, who introduced us to the arena of dendritic cell biology, as well as to Mike Lotze and the Rosenberg school, for their seminal training. I will finish by acknowledging that I share this award with Prof Guido Kroemer who helped me in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of immunogenic cell death."


Notes to Editors




3 The ESMO Award for Immuno-Oncology will be presented to Laurence Zitvogel during the Keynote Lecture on 7 December 2017 at 13:450 CET, Room A of Palexpo, Geneva.

Information on all ESMO awards is available at

About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With 17,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 130 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. We are committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment.

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