Bernard Fisher, MD
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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.
2007 Distinguished Medical Science Award, Friends of the National Library of Medicine2006 AACR Lifetime Achievement Award in Cancer Research2000 American Surgical Association Medallion for Scientific Achievement1999 Distinguished Service Award for Scientific Achievement, American Society for Clinical Oncology1998 AACR-Joseph N. Burchenal Clinical Research Award1993 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award1993 Charles Kettering Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation1992 President, ASCO1991 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science1988 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction, Susan G. Komen Foundation1988-1991 Board of Directors, AACR1986-92 National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), appointed by President Reagan1986 Medal of Honor, American Cancer Society1985 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine1985 Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award1979-82 President’s Cancer Panel, appointed by President Carter1943 MD, University of Pittsburgh