The Fondation ARC

Léopold Griffuel Award

The Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Award is the most important prize in the field of cancer research in Europe. Since 1970, it rewards scientists and physicians that have brought an important contribution to better understand, diagnose, cure and prevent cancers. It has been created in accordance with the will of the late Mrs Griffuel by bequest, in honor and memory of her late husband, Mr. Léopold Griffuel.

On the occasion of the 46th presentation of the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Awards, the Fondation ARC organizes a scientific symposium in honor of the laureates. This year, the jury, chaired by Professor Jules Hoffmann, Nobel Prize laureate in 2011 for Physiology or Medicine, decided to designate Professor Peter Carmeliet as the recipient of the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Award in Basic Research and to share the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Award in Translational and Clinical Research between Professor Martine Piccart and Professor Caroline Robert.

The Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Award in Basic Research

Professor Peter Carmeliet is the director of the Angiogenesis and Vascular Metabolism Laboratory of the Cancer Biology Institute at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). He is considered as a leader in the field of tumor neoangiogenesis. His early work contributed to discover the role of VEGF in the formation of new blood vessels on the tumor site, leading to the development of several antiangiogenic treatments based on VEGF inhibition. These molecules are now used as a common treatment in several cancers. Prof. Carmeliet has also recently deciphered the role of PIGF in pathological neoangiogenesis; he then created a start-up to develop new treatments based on his discoveries. He now focuses on endothelial cells metabolism during blood vessels development. His new research projects have already led to the identification of new therapeutic targets.

 

The Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Award in Translational and Clinical Research

Martine PiccartProfessor Martine Piccart is an associate professor of oncology at the Université libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium) and head of the medicine department at the Jules Bordet Institute. She has worked for decades on breast and ovarian cancer and published more than 500 scientific articles. She has focused her work on translational and clinical cancer research and became one of the leaders in the field of targeted therapies. She actively took part in the demonstration of the importance of trastuzumab treatments in HER2+ tumors. She also led one of the first clinical trials about the use of molecular biomarkers in breast cancer care.  She also managed numerous workgroups at the European level. She first founded the Breast International Group (BIG) in 1996 that initiated around 50 clinical trials worldwide. She is clearly considered as a major personality of European and international collaboration in cancer clinical research.

 

Professor Caroline Robert is the head of the dermatology department at Gustave Roussy (Villejuif, France) and the co-leader of a translational research team unit. She has worked in both collaborative groups and fundamental research laboratories on melanoma research. She first focused her attention on anti-BRAF and anti-MEK treatments by joining as principal investigator a clinical program on the use of darafenib and trametinib. This work led to the authorization of these two therapies in melanoma treatment. She then took part in a large clinical study on the use of vemurafenib. She continued her work on targeted therapies, studying treatment resistance in melanoma. She has also played a major role in the development of immunotherapies in melanoma. She contributed to the use of anti-CTLA4 antibodies and, more recently, she has carried out a clinical trial on the use of anti-PD-1 treatment for melanome. Her work changed the standard of cares of melanoma and thus improved the life of many patients.