Professor Thomas Tursz (1946-2018)

Posted: Thursday, May 03, 2018


We are very sad to announce that our Vice-Chairman, Professor Thomas Tursz passed away on Friday, April 27th 2018 at the age of 71. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and he will be deeply missed.

Professor Thomas Tursz with Dr John Mendelsohn was the visionary founding member of WIN Consortium - Worldwide Innovative Network in personalized cancer medicine, which today brings over 40 institutions together in 20 countries promoting global diversity, cooperation and inclusion of all stakeholders to significantly improve cancer patient survival. He was also the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of one of our members, ARC Foundation for cancer research (France).

Professor Thomas Tursz was a brilliant and passionate doctor and scientist. He played a key role in the description of the oncogene role of the Epstein Barr virus and developed anti-tumor immunotherapy, gene therapy and precision oncology. Professor Thomas Tursz was a visionary spirit who profoundly impacted and influenced today’s oncology.

Born in Krakow, Poland in 1946, Professor Tursz was a widely recognised medical physician, oncologist and researcher with a distinguished career spanning over 46 years. He attained Full Professor of Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine Paris-Sud in 1986. He was General Director of the Institut Gustave-Roussy (IGR) for 16 years (1994-2010). Professor Emeritus of Oncology at the University of Paris-Sud/Paris XI since September 1st, 2011. He held multiple distinguished positions including President of the French Federation of Comprehensive Anticancer Centres (FNCLCC) now known as UNICANCER (2004-2010); Elected Member of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (since 2009); member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of several major European Cancer Centers.

His work has been awarded with several prestigious scientific prizes such as the Oncology Award "Prix de Cancérologie" from the French National League Against Cancer in 1979, the Bernard-Halpern Immunology Award in 1983, Cancerology Prize of the Academy of Sciences in 1988, the Rosen Oncology Award from the Medical Research Foundation in 1989 and the Grand Prix in Oncology from the Academy of Medicine in 1992, the Hamilton Fairley Award for Clinical Research from the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) in 1998 and the French Radiation Award in 2001 and was Knighted in 2001 and Officer of the Legion of Honor in 2014.

An author of 350 international papers in peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature, PNAS, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lancet, Lancet Oncology and British Med Journal.

We have modified the program of the WIN Symposium 2018 to include a session dedicated to celebrating the life and achievements of Professor Thomas Tursz. Please join us.

WIN represents a global collaboration of cancer centers, life science and biotech organizations, pharmaceutical and technology companies, health plans, and not-for-profit organizations.
The Worldwide Innovative Networking (WIN) Consortium in personalized cancer medicine was initiated in 2010 with leadership from leading cancer centers worldwide. WIN is a non-profit, non-governmental organization headquartered in Paris.

WIN was created to accelerate the pace and reduce the cost of translating novel cancer treatments to the bedside by developing and applying, through worldwide clinical trials and research projects, the most promising advances in genomic-based cancer research. WIN aims to initiate research projects each year in a global consortium guided by an independent scientific advisory board.

WIN now includes 43 institutional members. These stakeholders have come together from all parts of the world to address the challenge of increasing the efficacy of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics by understanding the genetics and biology of each individual’s tumor and accounting for genetic differences across diverse populations—from North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Our goal is to significantly improve outcomes for patients around the globe. We aim to increase the number of patients worldwide that have access to innovative, global clinical trials in the area of genomic-based cancer therapeutics. Global diversity and inclusion of all stakeholders is WIN’s most important and differentiating asset.
WIN is comprised of organizations representing all stakeholders in personalized cancer medicine.
WIN enables cross-sector collaborations designed to accelerate the speed and efficacy with which breakthroughs in personalized cancer medicine can be realized and brought to patients worldwide.

Our members include leading academic, pharmaceutical, life science, not-for-profit, health IT, and healthpayer organizations.
Our members include 30 leading academic centers representing 18 countries and four continents, enabling coordinated studies with a global patient population.
The response to a genetically-targeted therapy can vary due to differences in ethnicity and environment. WIN's global studies are designed to identify and account for this variability, enhancing the speed and efficacy with which novel discoveries can be made and brought to patients around the world.

WIN's first trial, WINTHER, is currently being carried out through a collaboration between six academic centers in five countries, with key support from Europe (EUFP7), Fondation ARC, Pfizer and other pharma companies.
WIN prioritizes cross-sector interaction designed to enhance learning across and between continents and healthcare sectors.
WIN Symposia, held annually in Paris, brings together hundreds of leaders representing all stakeholders from around the world in a forum designed to promote the exchange of ideas and information.