The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) have announced the 2016 Heine H. Hansen (HHH) Award recipient as Suresh Senan from Amsterdam. The award will be presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2016, held 13 to 16 April in Geneva, Switzerland.
The HHH Award recognises the lifetime contribution of Prof Heine H. Hansen1 to lung cancer research and education globally. Heine Hansen was a president of ESMO, a founder of IASLC and a mentor to many in the field of lung cancer. The HHH Award is presented annually by representatives of both organisations at ELCC, where the awardee will give a keynote lecture.2
The HHH Award acknowledges a lung cancer investigator who has made a special contribution to lung cancer research and education on an international basis. Prof Senan is currently vice-chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he has been professor of clinical experimental radiotherapy since 2003. He is an ESMO Faculty member for Chest Tumours and has been a member of the IASLC since 2000.
Commenting on the significance of receiving the award, Senan said: “The Heine H. Hansen Award reflects the opportunities provided by ESMO to non-medical oncologists such as myself, to actively participate in guideline development and teaching courses, all with the aim of contributing to improved care for our patients.”
Senan completed undergraduate studies and training in internal medicine at the National University of Singapore, before training in radiotherapy and oncology in Scotland. He has been working in the Netherlands since 1994.
He said: “This award represents for me a recognition of the active research efforts in the Dutch lung cancer research community. I see it also as recognition of the growing role of radiation oncology in treatment of lung cancer. Since my first attendance at a World Lung Cancer Conference in 2000, I have been an active member of the IASLC community, and like many others, have benefitted from stimulating discussions and networking with established leaders in the field like Prof Heine Hansen.”
Senan’s research has focused on different aspects of lung cancer therapy, including stereotactic radiotherapy, 4-dimensional imaging, chemo-radiotherapy, treatment of small-cell lung cancer, comparative effectiveness research, and MRI-guided treatment. He has more than 285 peer-reviewed publications, and has supervised 15 PhD theses.
Acknowledging the contribution of others to his career, Senan said: “I am grateful to my radiation oncology colleagues, especially Frank Lagerwaard and Ben Slotman, for a very productive collaboration over nearly 15 years, and we continue to work on exciting new projects. Lung cancer research at the VU University Medical Centre benefitted greatly from the inspiring leadership of Pieter Postmus and Egbert Smit, who together with my surgical colleague, Rick Paul, were all strong supporters of ‘disruptive research’ which could lead to improved outcomes in patients. I have also been fortunate to work with a number of very talented Dutch and international PhD students, whose projects helped generate the data to move the field forward.”
ELCC Scientific Committee Co-Chair for ESMO, Prof Solange Peters said: “ESMO is delighted to bestow this year’s Heine H. Hansen Award on Suresh Senan. He has been an active member of ESMO, helping to spread best practice in the field of lung cancer.”
Dr. Wilfried Eberhardt, ELCC Scientific Committee Co-Chair for IASLC, said: “Suresh Senan is a valued member of IASLC and worthy recipient of this award. His involvement in research, editorial roles, supervision, and professional societies will have a long lasting impact on the field of lung cancer.”