The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has announced the appointment of George Pentheroudakis, MD, PhD, as its new Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Pentheroudakis is Head of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Ioannina University Hospital in Greece and serves as Professor of Oncology at the School of Medicine at the University of Ioannina. He will succeed Jean-Yves Douillard, MD, PhD, who was appointed as the first ESMO Chief Medical Officer in 2016 and confirmed in 2018 for a second and last mandate.
George Pentheroudakis, MD, PhD
Jean-Yves Douillard, MD, PhD
A senior staff position based at ESMO Headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland, the Chief Medical Officer plays a key role in the development of the society’s scientific and educational strategy and activities. These initiatives include programs for educational courses and congresses, the ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines, and a variety of additional projects and resources.
Playing an Active Role
After obtaining his medical degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, Dr. Pentheroudakis trained in medical oncology at the Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, where he also gained experience in the development of clinical trials. Upon his return to Greece, Dr. Pentheroudakis was awarded a PhD in 2006 at the University of Ioannina, where he has worked as a consultant medical oncologist at the University of Ioannina’s Department of Medical Oncology since 2003, treating patients diagnosed with solid tumors and establishing a Translational and Clinical Research Unit, a Liquid Biopsy Centre, and a Palliative and Supportive Care Unit. He is involved in both clinical and translational research and has coauthored 289 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals.
Solange Peters, MD, PhD
ESMO President Solange Peters, MD, PhD, commented on this leadership position: “The Chief Medical Officer position was established in 2016 in response to the growth of the society, both in terms of its scale and breadth. That growth has continued over the past 4 years, and today ESMO represents more than 25,000 members from over 160 countries worldwide, making the Chief Medical Officer role more important than ever. A big thank you goes to Prof. Douillard for his valuable input and guidance over the past 4 years.” Dr. Peters added: “Among the applicants, George Pentheroudakis was the ideal candidate, as his career spans both clinical practice and cancer research, while his work as Chair of the ESMO Guidelines Committee will ensure he brings valuable insight to all areas of our scientific and educational activities.”
ESMO Chief Executive Officer Keith Hanson McGregor, PhD, said: “The introduction of the role of the CMO has helped to grow ESMO’s educational offering, both in scope and value, making this position a critical resource for the entire organisation, internally, towards members and all other stakeholders…. I would like to thank Prof. Douillard for his commitment over the past 4 years, and I am pleased to welcome Prof. Pentheroudakis onboard to face new and exciting challenges together.”