A Queen’s University professor emeritus is being recognized for her work in cancer research.
Elizabeth Eisenhauer is to receive the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance’s award for Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Research.
The award recognizes Eisenhauer’s work in the field of cancer clinical trials, cancer treatment and drug delivery, and cancer research strategy and development.
“I feel very honoured to have received this recognition from the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance,” Eisenhauer said in a statement. “CCRA has brought together research funding agencies from across the country to develop common strategies and shared investments designed to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer — work that I have long supported.”
Eisenhauer is to be among six people to be presented with awards at the alliance’s biennial scientific conference next week in Vancouver.
Eisenhauer’s work has included research into ovarian cancer, malignant melanoma, and malignant brain tumours. She was involved in creating the Investigational New Drug (IND) Program for the Canadian Cancer Trials Group in 1982. The IND program offered an opportunity for clinical investigators and patients to obtain new cancer drugs and contribute to their evaluation and development.
Eisenhauer presided over 200 clinical trials involving more than 5,500 patients and more than 100 new cancer-fighting drugs.
Between 2006 and her retirement in mid-2017, Eisenhauer also served in several national leadership roles, including as president of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, expert lead in research at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, and as co-chair of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance and head of oncology at Queen’s.
“Dr. Eisenhauer’s groundbreaking research contributions have fundamentally changed how scientists develop, test and administer new treatments for cancer,” John Fisher, interim vice-principal of research at Queen’s, said. “Her efforts to advance potential treatments safely and effectively through clinical trials have led to new standards of care and increased quality of life for cancer patients around the world.”
Eisenhauer said excitement around emerging immune treatments and molecular-targeted medicines for cancer must be tempered by remembering the importance of other areas of cancer medicine.
“There is a tendency to assume that there are simple answers to cancer, which leads to a lot of funding being directed into a single area of research,” she said in a statement. “However, there have never been simple solutions, so a multi-pronged approach will be the only sufficient way to reduce the impact of this disease.”
— The Whig-Standard