Professor Jack Cuzick from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has received the Cancer Research UK Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on cancer prevention and detection.
The prestigious prize is awarded annually to an outstanding researcher who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the fight against cancer and has made exceptional advances in the field.
The award was presented at the 2017 National Cancer Research Institute Cancer Conference in Liverpool, to celebrate an exceptional career that’s spanned more than 30 years. Professor Cuzick gave a talk, headlining the busy conference and summing up his career.
Professor Cuzick, Director of QMUL’s Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and Head of the Centre for Cancer Prevention, said: “I am really delighted with this award. But it’s also incredibly important for our field, because cancer prevention tends not to get the recognition that it should. More needs to be done to raise the profile of cancer prevention as an important field of scientific research.
“Taking statins to lower the risk of heart attacks is standard and routine for people of a certain age – doctors don’t think twice about prescribing them. Yet giving people drugs to prevent cancer isn’t common practice. I’m hoping this increase in recognition helps to change that.”
Professor Cuzick was the first to show that the drug tamoxifen was highly effective in the prevention of breast cancer, and subsequently demonstrated the superior efficacy and safety of aromatase inhibitor drugs, which can reduce breast cancer incidence by over 50 per cent. He also developed a widely used model for assessing breast cancer risk, and led work on human papilloma virus DNA testing - now the primary screening method for cervical cancer in many places.
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