Newswise — ARLINGTON, Va., October 2, 2019 —The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recognized the recipients of its 2019 Gold Medal awards and other high-profile honors at the 61st ASTRO Annual Meeting in Chicago. View/download photos from the September 17 awards ceremony here.

ASTRO Gold Medal

Walter J. Curran Jr., MD, Silvia C. Formenti, MD, FASTRO, and Thomas R. Mackie, PhD, were awarded the Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon ASTRO members. ASTRO awards its Gold Medal annually to individuals who have made outstanding lifetime contributions in the field of radiation oncology, including achievements in clinical patient care, research, teaching and service to the profession. In the award’s 43rd consecutive year, Drs. Curran, Formenti and Mackie join an exclusive group of 87 Gold Medalists selected over the decades from among more than 10,000 ASTRO members.

Walter J. Curran Jr., MD, is an internationally known expert in lung cancer and brain tumors and the executive director of Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. He was instrumental in the merger that created NRG Oncology, the largest of the five National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded clinical trials network groups, and he currently serves as its group chairman and principal investigator.

Silvia C. Formenti, MD, FASTRO, is an internationally renowned physician scientist and chair of radiation oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College at Cornell University. She has devoted her career to translating novel, preclinical information to the clinic, and her groundbreaking research on combining radiation therapy and immunotherapy treatments has led to more than 100 clinical trials.

Thomas R. Mackie, PhD, known for successes as an inventor, innovator and entrepreneur, is an emeritus professor of medical physics and engineering at the University of Wisconsin, where he spent the majority of his career. Dr. Mackie has written more than 184 journal publications, with some of the most highly cited papers in the field, and he holds nearly 50 U.S. patents.

Read more about the 2019 ASTRO Gold Medalists in ASTROnews, and view/download photos of Drs. Curran, Formenti and Mackie receiving their awards.

ASTRO Honorary Member

Medical oncologist Corey J. Langer, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of thoracic oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center, was chosen as the 2019 ASTRO Honorary Member. This award is the highest honor that ASTRO bestows upon cancer physicians and researchers in disciplines outside of radiation oncology, radiobiology and medical physics.

Read more about Dr. Langer in ASTROnews, and view/download photos of Dr. Langer receiving his award.

Annual Meeting Abstract Awards

Nearly four dozen cancer researchers received 2019 ASTRO Annual Meeting Abstract Awards, which recognized the highest-rated research presented at ASTRO's 61st Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The International Annual Meeting Scientific Abstract Award provides a grant for a radiation oncologist from a developing country, based on the World Bank’s definition, to attend ASTRO’s Annual Meeting and to spend additional time at a comprehensive cancer center in the United States. The award fosters continuing medical education, assists in career development and aids in establishing relationships with ASTRO members who may serve as scientific mentors to the award winner. The 2019 recipient, Rituraj Upadhyay, MD, of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, used his award to learn and practice precision radiation oncology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

A full list of award recipients is available online, and abstracts from the meeting also are available online.

Survivor Circle: Honoring Patients and Their Contributions

In addition to awarding achievements in the fight against cancer made by physicians, ASTRO recognizes contributions from patients through its Survivor Circle program.

The Survivor Circle Grant Program provides financial assistance to cancer support organizations in the metropolitan area where ASTRO’s Annual Meeting is held. The 2019 grant recipients, Sisters Network Chicago Chapter and ALAS-WINGS, both provide support to survivors of breast cancer, their families and caregivers, through services including advocacy, educational outreach, support groups and mobile salons in the greater Chicago area. Read more about the 2019 ASTRO Survivor Circle Grant Recipients in ASTROnews.

The Survivor Circle Award recognizes an individual cancer survivor who lives in the area where the ASTRO Annual Meeting is held. The 2019 recipient, Chicago resident Bertha Mariscal, is a breast cancer survivor, ALAS-Wings advocate and volunteer in her community. Read more about Ms. Mariscal and the 2019 ASTRO Survivor Circle Award in ASTROnews.


The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is the world’s largest radiation oncology society, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. The Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Practical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers; and created the nonprofit foundation Radiation Oncology Institute. To learn more about ASTRO, visit our website, sign up to receive our news and follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.