American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2007

AACR to Present Distinguished Public Service Awards at 2007 Annual Meeting

April 11, 2007

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., Harold P. Freeman, M.D., LaSalle D. Lefall, Jr., M.D. will be recognized

PHILADELPHIA - The American Association for Cancer Research will honor Andrew C. Von Eschenbach, M.D., Harold P. Freeman, M.D., and LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., M.D., for their outstanding efforts in leadership, education and advocacy with two awards at the AACR Annual Meeting 2007.

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., will be receive the AACR Distinguished Service Award for exemplary leadership as Director of the National Cancer Institute during a time of flourishing scientific and technological advances with gradually diminishing resources. During his five-year tenure, Dr. von Eschenbach fostered new and productive interagency agreements among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which streamlined the development and delivery of new medicines to seriously ill patients with cancer. His insistence upon open lines of communication and transparent governance and administration - particularly through the NCI Cancer Bulletin and other new publications - filled a vital role in keeping the public informed about the work and progress of the Institute. A nationally recognized urologic surgeon and oncologist, founding member of C-Change, former president-elect of the American Cancer Society, and three-time cancer survivor, Dr. von Eschenbach has made an impact on the fight against cancer that extends well beyond the clinical and academic communities.

Harold P. Freeman, M.D., will receive the AACR Public Service Award in recognition for his national leadership in the effort to reduce health disparities in the fight against cancer. Dr. Freeman is the founder, president, and medical director of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Serving with distinction for more than a decade as the Chairman of the President's Cancer Panel, Dr. Freeman's expertise in healthcare administration has contributed enormously to raising awareness of and defining strategies to address critical healthcare issues. In addition, his pioneering research in the patient navigator concept has made significant inroads into cancer health disparity issues.

LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., M.D., will receive the AACR Public Service Award in recognition of his leadership in the fight against cancer through excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, patient care, and public service . Dr. Leffall is the Charles R. Drew Professor at the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. A renowned surgeon and compassionate physician, he has served as president of several major national and international organizations, including the Society of Surgical Oncologists, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Cancer Society. Through his service on the National Cancer Advisory Board, as Chairman of the President's Cancer Panel, and as Founding President and Chairman of the Board of C-Change.Dr. Leffall has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the national campaign for cancer awareness.

The AACR Public Service Award and the AACR Distinguished Service Award will be presented at 7:00 a.m. Sunday, April 15, during opening ceremonies of the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting. Members of the media registered for the meeting are welcome to attend.


The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

Angela DeCicco
215-440-9300 ext. 104