Dr. Fred Hirsch, the CEO of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is this year’s recipient of the Bruce Vento Hope Builder Award, named for the late Minnesota Congressman who died from mesothelioma in 2000.
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation presents the award annually to thought-leaders and allies who have substantially contributed to the advancement of mesothelioma research, treatment, care, support, education, and advocacy.
The award will be presented during the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, on March 27, in Bethesda, MD. Congratulatory messages for all award recipients, which will be published in the evening’s program, can be purchased at www.curemeso.org/ads.
Dr. Fred Hirsch is the CEO of IASLC, the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes more than 5,000 lung cancer specialists in over 100 countries. IASLC members work to enhance the understanding of lung cancer among scientists, members of the medical community and the public. IASLC is the publisher of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO), a valuable resource for medical specialists and scientists who focus on the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thoracic cancers.
Moved by the tremendous obstacles facing patients as they seek effective treatments, as well as researchers focused on advancing life-saving science, Dr. Hirsch has been instrumental in prioritizing and elevating mesothelioma research within IASLC and its membership. Under Dr. Hirsch’s leadership, there has been a noticeable increase in mesothelioma topics covered in the IASLC newsletter, as well as an increase in invited peer-reviewed articles for JTO. Moreover, Dr. Hirsch is the leading figure behind a newly formed task force commissioned by the NCI to, together with IASLC and the Meso Foundation, evaluate most recent data and, with those results in mind, propose clinical trials for the most promising agents. The task force, also known as the Clinical Trials Planning Meeting, will convene world experts in mesothelioma immediately following the Foundation’s International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma.
“The magnitude of reach of an organization with the reputation and size of IASLC, joining forces with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation to promote mesothelioma research, will without question speed up advances in the treatment of this disease,” said Mary Hesdorffer, the executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
“We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Hirsch for his interest in mesothelioma research. With a five-year survival of less than 10%, mesothelioma patients need to know that better treatments are just around the corner. This task force gives us exactly that kind of hope and that’s why we are proud to award Dr. Hirsch with the Bruce Vento Hope Builder Award,” said Melinda Kotzian, the chief executive officer of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
The award will be presented at the Awards Dinner on March 27 as part of the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma. Learn more at curemeso.org/symposium.