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European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) Awards

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award - Professor Cornelis van de Velde

Cornelis van de Velde’s research has had a major impact on the treatment of rectal, breast and gastric cancer patients. One of his distinguishing qualities is the design and execution of large multi-center and multinational studies, to translate research results into clinical practice. Specifically, his TME trial (rectal cancer) and D1/D2 trial (gastric cancer) have changed clinical practice of rectal and gastric cancer worldwide. Overall, his clinical studies have contributed to a significant decrease in both the recurrence rate (from 11 % to 5% in rectal cancer) and mortality rate (reduction of deaths from gastric cancer from 63% to 52%).

He also founded collaborative organizations: on a national level – the NABON (National Breast Cancer Group) and DCCG (Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group), and on an international level – the EURECCA (EUropean REgistry of Cancer CAre) and the EORTC Breast Cancer Group. Within these organizations, he has initiated ground-breaking studies that impact daily cancer care. Examples are the RAPIDO trial on neoadjuvant treatment in rectal cancer, the CRITICS study on adjuvant treatment in gastric cancer, and the TEAM trial, which has been one of the largest randomized controlled trials ever performed, with almost 10,000 breast cancer patients included.
Based on the trials performed by Van de Velde, there has been a paradigm shift in the treatment of solid tumors. Where in the past, most of chemotherapy and radiotherapy was administered after tumor resection (adjuvant therapy), there has been a switch to performing chemotherapy and radiotherapy preoperatively (neoadjuvant) to improve clinical outcomes and adapt surgery to organ preservation. For example, in gastric cancer, 5 year survival rates have improved by 10%. Furthermore, as a result of these neoadjuvant treatment strategies, it is currently being investigated if resection can be omitted in patients in whom a clinical complete response is observed (Watch & Wait strategy).

Cornelis van de Velde has dedicated his entire career to improving the care for cancer patients. Together with his group he has performed basic research with a focus on clinical applications. He has pioneered new treatment options for colorectal, gastric and breast cancer patients and performed large multinational studies to establish clinical benefit. His study on preoperative radiotherapy in rectal cancer patients has changed the standard of care, and so have also his gastric cancer studies. He has initiated large international studies with quality assurance, which have led to standardization of treatment as well as improved cancer treatment and care world-wide. In addition, he also played a major role in setting up the tumor bank in LUMC, as his research lab systematically categorizes and stores all tissue samples from these studies since 1989. The samples of the tumor bank have been used world-wide for answering important clinical research questions.

Van de Velde has been on the forefront of clinical cancer auditing, with the initiating of EURECCA (the EUropean REgistry of Cancer CAre). Auditing has been essential to benchmark outcomes of cancer treatment and enables caregivers to improve. Van de Velde has published more than 900 scientific articles and supervised 88 PhD students, whose careers he assisted further. Several of his PhD students are now Professors, including Prof. R.A.E.M. Tollenaar (LUMC, Leiden), Prof. C.A.M. Marijnen (LUMC, Leiden), Prof. I. Nagtegaal (Radboud University, Nijmegen), Prof. J.F. Hamming (LUMC, Leiden), and Prof. J.A. van der Hage (LUMC, Leiden). As means of his recognition, he is invited on a regular basis to share his knowledge with surgical and oncological societies world-wide.

Prof. van de Velde's Lifetime Achievement Award Lecture is at 12.10 on Wednesday 10th October 2018 during the ESSO 38 Opening Ceremony in Budapest, Hungary.

2018 ESSO Medal - Professor Han-Kwang Yang 

Han-Kwang YANG, MD, PhD, FACS, Hon ASA, ESA & JSES

Chairman & Professor, Department of Surgery, at Seoul National University Hospital & Seoul National University College of Medicine

Director, Gastric Cancer Center, Seoul National University Hospital

The ESSO Medal will be awarded to Professor Han-Kwang Yang to acknowledge his contribution to surgical oncology, his leadership in clinical practice and his international reputation, being instrumental in setting boundaries with colleagues from all over the world. It will also give us the opportunity to acknowledge the open and constructive cooperation between ESSO and KSSO (Korean Society of Surgical Oncology).

Dr. Yang is involved in several large scale RCT’s for gastric cancer treatment. He is Korean PI of REGATTA study (Phase III study for the role of gastrectomy in stage IV gastric cancer with a single incurable factor; a collaboratory study between JCOG and KGCA). He is investigators of CLASSIC trial, KLASS trials as well as the Korean PI of a phase II study for the role of neoadjuvant imatinib treatment in large gastric GIST (a collaborator study between Japan and Korea). He is the founding chairman of KLASS (Korean Laparoscopic Gastrointestinal Surgery Study Group). His translational research interests are gastric carcinogenesis, DDS, familial gastric cancer, biomarkers and developing PDX model for gastric cancer. He is Chairman of Board of directors Korean Society of Surgical Oncology, executive council member of IGCA, Honorary fellow of American Surgical Association, Honorary member of European Surgical Association, Honorary International Fellow of Japanese Society of Endoscopic Surgery and a member of Korea Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST). He is editor or editorial member of The Journal of Gastric Cancer (official journal of International Gastric Cancer Association), Asian Journal of Endoscopic Surgery, Annals of Surgery, World Journal of Surgery, Annals of Surgical Oncology. Dr. Yang gave over 230 invited lectures to international meetings and oversea institutes with occasional live demonstration of gastrectomy (open, laparoscopic or robotic).

Prof. Han-Kwang Yang's ESSO Medal Award Lecture is at 10.10 on Thursday 11th October 2018 during the ESSO 38 Presidential Address in Budapest, Hungary.


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