ESMO Women for Oncology Awards Sumitra Thongprasert - European Medical Journal

ESMO Women for Oncology Awards Sumitra Thongprasert

3 Mins
General Healthcare

Switzerland, September 6, 2016 – Professor Sumitra Thongprasert has been awarded the second ESMO Women for Oncology award,1 honouring her position as a role model for women in the profession and for her distinguished career.

This is the second year of the ESMO Women for Oncology award, which was established to acknowledge an individual who has significantly supported the career development of women in oncology.

Prof. Thongprasert has held many important positions in the Far East and internationally. Currently she is the Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, and also Director of the Centre of Excellence in Cancer at Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Prof. Thongprasert began her career with a fellowship in haematology-oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, after which she returned to Chiang Mai University in Thailand and set up the Medical Oncology Unit. She served as Professor of Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University from 1999–2012.

Previous positions include being on the board of directors for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) from 2011–2015, a member of the ESMO Developing Country Task Force (DCTF) during 2005–2010, and the Far East Regional representative for ESMO from 2008–2015. Most recently, she was chairperson of the Asia Pacific Lung Cancer Conference in May 2016. Prof. Thongprasert was a founding member of the Thai Society of Clinical Oncology (TSCO), serving as its President during 2002–2006.

Chair of the ESMO Women for Oncology Committee Solange Peters said: “Prof. Thongprasert has been a passionate supporter of the ESMO Women for Oncology initiative since the early days. She has actively promoted the ideals and goals of the initiative in Asia and beyond, which is to address the inequalities faced by women oncologists seeking leadership positions.”

Prof. Thongprasert said she was particularly honoured to be receiving such an award from ESMO: “The award is further impetus to strive towards contributing something meaningful to ESMO and especially to women oncologists.”

Prof. Thongprasert acknowledged the Ananda Mahidol Foundation in Thailand, which provided her with a scholarship for her oncology training, and thanked the mentors, colleagues, friends and family who have supported her: “I would like to thank the ESMO Board for giving me the opportunity to be part of ESMO’s work, initially as a member of the Developing Country Task Force, and later as the ESMO Far East representative. I have learned so much from my involvement with the organisation.”

The ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee acknowledged Prof. Thongprasert’s advocacy across Asia for female participation in the oncology workforce, and promotion of women in leadership positions.

Chair of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee Christoph Zielinski said: “Prof. Sumitra Thongprasert has been essential to the support of women’s careers in Asia and beyond. She is a role model for what ESMO wants to convey with the Women for Oncology Award.”

Notes to Editors


  1. ESMO Women for Oncology award will be presented to Sumitra Thongprasert during the Special Session “Women for Oncology session” on 9 October 2016 at 09:00 to 10:30 (CEST).

Info on all ESMO awards is available at

ESMO, European Society for Medical Oncology
ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. Comprising more than 13,000 oncology professionals from over 130 countries, we are the society of reference for oncology education and information. We are committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment.

Founded in 1975, ESMO has European roots and a global reach: we welcome oncology professionals from around the world. We are a home for all oncology stakeholders, connecting professionals with diverse expertise and experience. Our educational and information resources support an integrated, multi-professional approach to cancer treatment. We seek to erase boundaries in cancer care as we pursue our mission across oncology, worldwide.

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