Professor John Forbes AM has received the 2015 NSW Premier’s Award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year.
The Award was presented by the NSW Minister for Health, Gillian Skinner MP, on behalf of the NSW Premier at the 10th anniversary of the Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research. The event was hosted by the Cancer Institute NSW, in Sydney.
The Award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year is presented to an individual who has made a significant and fundamental contribution to any field of cancer in NSW. It is awarded to a researcher who shows leadership and is active in NSW cancer research, who has a record of substantive and noteworthy publications. The winner is selected based on the quality, significance, scientific originality and innovation of their research; their contribution to the acceleration of progress against cancer; and implications for future research. The recipient receives a prize of $50,000 towards their research endeavours and a commemorative award.
Professor Forbes is the Director of Research at the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG), which is based in Newcastle. Professor Forbes is Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Newcastle and is Director of Surgical Oncology at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital.
Premier Mike Baird praised Professor Forbes efforts and said, “Tonight the state honours some of its most brilliant minds, those who work away from the public gaze, for years and decades, to unlock the secrets of cancer. We thank them for their skill and tenacity as they work to bring relief and hope to those living with this insidious disease.”
“We celebrate when discoveries are made but we must recognise the vision and commitment of these researchers over years and decades of painstaking work, that lead to these breakthroughs.”
“Professor Forbes has demonstrated this ethos and it is an honour to recognise his outstanding contribution to breast cancer prevention and treatment which has benefited people here and the world over.”
Professor Forbes was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 for service to medicine in the field of breast cancer research, to the development of improved clinical practice standards and service to the community. He was recognised as one of the world’s leading scientific researchers, in the Thomson Reuters list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014”.
Professor Forbes was the International Study Co-Chair of the IBIS-I and IBIS-II international prevention clinical trials. The IBIS-I clinical trial examined the long-term risk and benefits of taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Long term analysis found that the preventative effect of tamoxifen continued for 20 years, after treatment with the drug had stopped, with breast cancer rates reduced by around 30%. Professor Forbes also Co-Chaired the ATAC study, that tested the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole as an alternative to tamoxifen. The IBIS-II clinical trial found that taking the breast cancer drug anastrozole for five years reduced the chances of postmenopausal women at high risk of breast cancer developing the disease by 53% compared with women who took a placebo.
[hr] Source: ANZBCTG