McGuire Memorial Lecture to trace progress in the prevention of breast cancer


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3 minutes
Jack Cuzick, PhD
Jack Cuzick, PhD

Jack Cuzick, PhD, has been chosen as the 2023 recipient of the William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award for his groundbreaking research discoveries and practice-changing contributions to the prevention and treatment of early-stage breast cancer. He will deliver this year’s McGuire Award Lecture, Progress in the Prevention of Breast Cancer, at 8:30 a.m. CT on Wednesday, December 6 in Hall 1 of the Henry B. González Convention Center.

Dr. Cuzick is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and Head of the Cancer Prevention Unit at the Centre for Prevention, Detection and Diagnosis at Queen Mary University of London.

In his address to SABCS® attendees, Dr. Cuzick will discuss the journey from his early career as a mathematician to his leading role in demonstrating the benefits of tamoxifen in reducing the risk of breast cancer, and to the potential impact of his current work looking at the interaction of aromatase inhibitors with estrogen on breast cancer prevention and treatment.

“It has been a long but immensely satisfying journey from pure mathematics to cancer prevention,” Dr. Cuzick said. “Substantial progress has been made, but breast cancer is still the most common cancer in women, and there’s a lot more to be done.”

His interest in breast cancer research began when, as a statistician involved in cancer treatment trials, he observed that patients with breast cancer who received adjuvant tamoxifen had reduced incidence of a second cancer forming in the opposite breast. This led Dr. Cuzick to propose tamoxifen as a prophylactic for women at increased risk of breast cancer.

He has since contributed to multiple international trials that have confirmed the ability of tamoxifen to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and he led the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study I (IBIS-I), which established mammographic density as a modifiable risk biomarker. In addition, Dr. Cuzick co-developed the Tyrer-Cuzick model, a leading breast cancer risk prediction model.

Further, he was one of the key investigators who designed the seminal Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination (ATAC) trial, which established that the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole was more effective than tamoxifen in the adjuvant treatment of postmenopausal patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Based on these findings, Dr. Cuzick launched the IBIS-II trial to evaluate the preventive potential of anastrozole in women at high risk of breast cancer or with a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ. This trial confirmed that anastrozole was more effective as a primary preventive agent than tamoxifen.

“I am very honored to receive this award and for the opportunity to highlight the continued importance of breast cancer as the most common cancer in women and the need for risk-adapted screening and prevention,” Dr. Cuzick said. “I also look forward to the opportunity to hear about all of the latest advances in breast cancer research at SABCS®. It provides a crucial forum for breast cancer researchers and clinicians from around the world to engage in discussions, interact, and plan new projects on an international scale.”

The William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award was established in 1992 to commemorate Dr. McGuire’s significant contributions to breast oncology. Dr. McGuire, along with Charles A. Coltman, MD, founded SABCS® in 1977.