Jack Cuzick ’70 Receives Cancer Research Award

Harvey Mudd College alumnus Jack Cuzick ’70 has received an award for his work in helping to prevent breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers.

Given by the American Association for Cancer Research and the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the 2012 Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research recognizes those whose research has stimulated new directions in cancer prevention.

“I am delighted to receive this award in recognition of all who have been a part of my work,” said Cuzick, who serves as professor of epidemiology at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and who heads the institute’s Centre for Cancer Prevention. “This has been an extraordinary period to be in this field, and I have been lucky enough to benefit from working with so many first-class researchers from around the world.”

Involved in the initial trials of tamoxifen, in 1985 Cuzick observed that adjuvant tamoxifen reduced the incidence of second primary breast cancers and proposed its prophylactic use in at-risk women. Four subsequent tamoxifen chemoprevention trials have confirmed Cuzick’s original observation. He published a meta-analysis of the randomized tamoxifen prevention trials, which further confirmed that the drug could reduce estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by about 50 percent, and quantified the adverse events associated with tamoxifen.

He also led the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS-I).The IBIS-I data were used to develop one of the leading breast cancer risk prediction models, and established mammographic density as a modifiable risk biomarker.

Cuzick’s work also has furthered screening efforts to prevent cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers. He was a leading proponent of screening for human papillomavirus (HPV), which has been linked to cervical cancer. He demonstrated the efficacy of endoscopic screening for colorectal cancer and assembled the largest study group of men with localized prostate cancer that resulted in the identification of several biomarkers of aggressive disease.

Cuzick earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and his doctorate from Claremont Graduate University. He serves as president of the International Society of Cancer Prevention and as a member of the Cancer Research UK Scientific Advisory Board. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and an elected fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in London.

His previous honors include the Biomedicine Prize for the best paper in a cancer journal (1988), the EUROGIN Distinguished Services Award for cervical cancer prevention (2006) and the HMC Outstanding Alumni Award (2010).