Bernard Fisher, MD

Bernard Fisher, MD
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Bernard Fisher, MD | Class of 2013

Current surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic adjuvant chemotherapy and hormonal therapy modalities for the treatment of breast and other cancers have been transformed by Dr. Fisher’s research. He was the first to repudiate the theory that cancer was “autonomous of its host,” and he put forth the concept that solid tumors such as breast cancer are likely to be systemic at the time of diagnosis and represent potential metastases during the life of the host. Dr. Fisher founded the NSABP that conducted large clinical trials designed by him to test his hypothesis, and the 20-year follow-up from one of those studies showed that lumpectomy preserved the breast with no deleterious effect on either distant disease-free survival or overall survival.

Dr. Fisher defined, implemented, and reported findings in the first women’s health trial in the United States to evaluate the use of the preventative agent tamoxifen, which was ultimately shown to reduce by almost 50 percent the incidence of disease in at-risk women. He is credited with improving breast cancer survival rates among women worldwide.

Career Highlights

2018    Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) Charles M. Balch, MD Distinguished Service Award
2014    ASCO 50th Anniversary “Oncology Luminary”
2013    OncLive “Giants of Cancer Care” Inaugural Award

2007  Distinguished Medical Science Award, Friends of the National Library of Medicine
2006  AACR Lifetime Achievement Award in Cancer Research
2000  American Surgical Association Medallion for Scientific Achievement
1999  Distinguished Service Award for Scientific Achievement, American Society for Clinical Oncology
1998  AACR-Joseph N. Burchenal Clinical Research Award
1993    Bristol-Myers Squibb Award
1993  Charles Kettering Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation
1992  President, ASCO
1991  Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1988  Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction, Susan G. Komen Foundation
1988-1991  Board of Directors, AACR
1986-92  National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), appointed by President Reagan
1986  Medal of Honor, American Cancer Society
1985  Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
1985  Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award
1979-82  President’s Cancer Panel, appointed by President Carter
1943  MD, University of Pittsburgh