ISLB 2023


Rafael Rosell

Rafael Rosell: Spain
Categories: 2023 Awardee
Dr. Rafael Rosell is Head of the Molecular and Cellular Oncology Laboratory program at the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute and Hospital (IGTP), Campus Can Ruti, (Badalona, Barcelona, Spain), past Director of the Cancer Biology and Precision Medicine Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (Badalona), Chief Scientific Officer, Chairman and Founder of Pangaea Oncology SL (Barcelona), Chief Medical Officer and President of the Dr Rosell Oncology Institute (IOR), Quirón Dexeus, General de Catalunya & Sagrat Cor Univ. Hospitals (Barcelona), and Founder and President of the Molecular Oncology Research Foundation (Barcelona). He is Founder and Director of International Relations and Projects, Spanish Lung Cancer Group (SLCG), member of the Foundation Council and Steering Committee of the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP) and on the Foundation Board of the ETOP- International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG). He is also a Panel member of the ASCO Clinical Practice Living Guidelines- Systemic Therapy for Stage IV NSCLC.
Dr. Rosell’s contributions to translational medical oncology, with particular emphasis in the field of non-small-cell lung cancer with EGFR mutations, have earned him international renown.
His five greatest contributions to research are as follows:
1. Rosell’s first prima facie study, improving survival based on neoadjuvant chemotherapy in resectable non-small cell lung cancer patients (Stage IIIAN2), transformed the management of NSCLC worldwide (Rosell et al. N Engl J Med. 1994).
2. In 2004, Rosell conducted the first large-scale screening study on EGFR mutations in NSCLC, showing survival benefit in 217 patients treated with erlotinib (Rosell et al. NEJM 2009).
3. Rosell’s EURTAC study (Rosell et al. Lancet Oncology 2012) led to FDA approval of erlotinib as first-line treatment in EGFR-mutant NSCLC.
4. In 2013, Rosell was recognized by The Lancet as the highest authority in lung cancer. (David Holmes: Rafael Rosell: leading the long march against lung cancer: Lancet, 2013)
5. Rosell pioneered the study of evading resistance mechanisms to targeted therapy by bypassing signaling pathways, STAT3 and YAP, and collaborated with other international groups on the subject (Rosell, Bivona, Karachaliou, Lancet 382:720-730, 2013).
Dr. Rosell is fully dedicated to the improvement of lung cancer therapy. His current research programs include continued investigation in translational/preclinical research, liquid biopsy, and novel technologies with NGS. In 2018, he was selected to participate in The European Liquid Biopsy Academy (ELBA).
Dr. Rosell has authored over 700 articles in scientific journals. From 2012 to 2021, he has written more than fifteen invited comments in The British Journal of Cancer, The Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, among others, including:
1. Arrieta et al. Efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab plus docetaxel alone in patients w/ previously treated advanced NSCLC. The PROLUNG phase 2 randomized clinical trial. JAMA Oncol 2020.
2. Gonzalez-Cao et al. Assessment of feasibility and safety of durvalumab for treatment of solid tumors in patients w/HIV-1 infection. Phase 2 DURVAST study. JAMA Oncol 2020.
3. Arrieta et al. Effect of metformin plus TKIs compared with TKIs alone in patients w/EGFR -mutated lung adenocarcinoma. Phase 2 randomized clinical trial. JAMA Oncol 2019.
4. Rosell et al. Erlotinib and bevacizumab in patients w/advanced NSCLC and activating mutations (BELIEF). Intl, multicenter, single-arm, phase 2 trial. Lancet Resp Med 2017.
5. Chaib et al. Co-activation of STAT3 and YES-associated protein 1 (YAP1) pathway in EGFR-mutant NSCLC. JNCI 2017.
Prominent awards:
• Mary J Mathews Distinguished Service award, IASCL, WCLC 2022
• Bonnie J. Addario Lectureship Award recipient at the International Lung Cancer Congress® (ILCC), 2022
• Raymond Bourgine, ICACT, 2012
• Hamilton Fairley Award, ESMO, 2011
• Eminent Clinical Scholar in Residence, Emory University, Atlanta, 2005