Published on March 22, 2021

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the oncology community are deeply saddened by the passing of José Baselga, MD, PhD, FASCO, on March 21, 2021, at age 61. Dr. Baselga died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to his family.

A breast cancer specialist and a world-renowned leader in oncology drug development, Dr. Baselga was the lead investigator in the initial trial that demonstrated clinical activity of the anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab, a drug that revolutionized the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. His work was instrumental in the development of pertuzumab, the second anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody to receive FDA approval after trastuzumab, as well as cetuximab, lapatinib, and everolimus, among other therapiesASCO recognized his promise as a clinical trialist from the very early days of his career, granting him a Young Investigator Award in 1992 and a Career Development Award in 1994.

Read more in ASCO Connection.