AN academic has been given a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to understanding the causes, impacts and prevention of cancer.

Peter Boyle, Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University, will be honoured at the Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Madrid next month.

Following the news of his award, Professor Boyle says he is determined to bring better treatment to those "forgotten" patients who live in less prosperous nations.

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He said: "To be recognised for my contributions to oncology motivates me to redouble my efforts. Although born, brought up and educated in Glasgow, I have spent my entire career in the international environment, I have been exposed to the challenges facing oncology worldwide.

"Unfortunately, while great progress has been achieved in high-resource countries, lower-resource regions are dramatically forgotten; they need urgent, collective action.

"Simply, if I could use this award for just one thing, it would be to draw attention to this disparity and address it with conclusive action.

"Fortunately, this award demonstrates the breadth of disciplines engaged in the global cancer control movement."

Professor Boyle is known internationally for his research on disease prevention and epidemiology - the study of the frequency, distribution and circumstances of disease.He has recently taken on the role of inaugural director at Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health at iPRI (International Prevention Research Institute) and has acted as scientific advisor to the European Commission.

Josep Tabernero of the ESMO fellowship and award committee, added: "Peter's dedication, his ability to engage us all in ultimately reversing the many disparities that exist in access to optimal cancer treatment and care across borders, make him so deserving of this award."