Associate Professor Prue Francis from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has received the Medical Oncology Group of Australia’s prestigious Cancer Achievement Award for 2015, acknowledging her international leadership of practice-changing clinical trials in breast cancer.

Most recently, Associate Professor Francis led a landmark, international clinical trial which found oestrogen suppression is a key weapon in helping to keep very young women disease-free following chemotherapy and surgery for hormone-responsive breast cancer.

Associate Professor Rosemary Harrup, Chair of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA) says the award recognises the unique role that Australian oncologists play in providing outstanding leadership in clinical practice, research and academic achievement.

‘Associate Professor Francis has received this award in recognition of her meritorious contribution as a medical oncologist and clinician-researcher to the improvement of cancer control at both a national and international level — with particular regard to her work in the field of breast cancer research and clinical practice.’

Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips, fellow Medical Oncologist at Peter Mac, says Associate Professor Francis’ leadership in developing new ways of managing breast cancer have changed the lives of many local women.

‘Through her role in developing international clinical trials, more than 1,000 patients in Australia and New Zealand have been recruited to randomised breast cancer studies.

‘Access to trials helps to ensure more women derive the earliest benefit from clinical innovation and have a greater opportunity to remain cancer-free and enjoy longer lives.’

Associate Professor Francis has been an author of three original publications in the New England Journal of Medicine in the last year. She is Chair of Cancer Council Victoria’s Breast Trial Subcommittee; Vice-Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group’s Scientific Advisory Committee; Member of the International Breast Cancer Study Group’s Scientific Committee; Faculty Member for Breast Cancer at the European Society for Medical Oncology; Member of the International Advanced Breast Cancer Consensus Guidelines Panel; and Medical Oncology Editor of the Breast journal.