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Rugo Wins Prestigious Giants of Cancer Care® Award


Breast cancer specialist Hope S. Rugo, MD, FASCO, an advisory board member for The Center for Biosimilars®, has been at the forefront of groundbreaking oncology advancements.

Center for Biosimilars® Advisory Board member Hope S. Rugo, MD, FASCO, has been named among the winners of this year’s OncLive® Giants of Cancer Care® awards. Rugo, an investigator and breast cancer practitioner with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), was named the recipient of the Education award.

She is among 15-world renowned leaders in oncology who will be officially honored at the Giants of Cancer Care® virtual celebration on November 5. A video of the November ceremony will be available on demand after the event by visiting giantsofcancercare.com. The many award categories include Cancer Diagnostics, Lymphoma, Community Outreach, and Translational Science.

Rugo has been a noted clinical research leader and lecturer at worldwide conferences. At UCSF, she runs the Breast Forum, which brings together patients, families, and caregivers for helpful information and discussion about managing breast cancer.

She had important investigational roles in the EMBRACA and ABRAZO studies, which evaluated the efficacy of talazoparib (Talzenna), a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase that prevents damaged cancer cells from repairing themselves, thereby impairing tumor growth. This important drug was approved by the FDA in 2018 for patients with HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer with germline BRCA mutations.

Rugo was also involved in evaluation of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in the IMpassion130 trial, which led to the FDA’s March 2019 approval of the immunotherapeutic agent in combination with nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) for PD-L1–positive unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. Tecentriq prevents cancer cells from disabling the immune system and preventing attacks on cancer cells.

Rugo has also contributed to the approvals of scalp-cooling technology to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss and a steroid mouthwash to relieve oral inflammation resulting from targeted therapy.

At Helen Diller, Rugo is director of the Breast Oncology Clinical Trials Program and a clinical professor of medicine. She holds a postdoctoral award from the AP Giannini Foundation (1990) and has been honored by Friends of the Breast Care Center (2006) and Cancer Care National Organization (2010).

Click here for a video of Rugo talking about the need for education to improve biosimilar uptake.

Other 2020 Giants of Cancer Care® to be honored at the November event are listed below:

  • Breast Cancer — Martine J. Piccart, MD, PhD, Université Libre de Bruxelles and Jules Bordet Institute
  • Cancer Diagnostics — Laura J. van ’t Veer, PhD, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco
  • Community Outreach/Cancer Policy — Clifford A. Hudis, MD, American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer — Margaret A. Tempero, MD, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco
  • Genitourinary Cancer — Dean F. Bajorin, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Medical College of Cornell University
  • Gynecologic Malignancies — Robert L. Coleman, MD, The US Oncology Network
  • Leukemia — Susan M. O'Brien, MD, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Irvine
  • Lung Cancer — Tony S.K. Mok, MD, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Lymphoma — George P. Canellos, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School
  • Melanoma & Other Skin Cancers — Keith T. Flaherty, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School
  • Myeloma — Sagar Lonial, MD, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • Prevention/Genetics — Olufunmilayo Falusi Olopade, MD, University of Chicago Medicine.
  • Supportive, Palliative, and/or Geriatric Care — Richard J. Gralla, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Jacobi Medical Center
  • Translational Science — Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
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