Luka Milas Receives ASTRO Gold Medal Award
Luka Milas, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Deputy Division Head for Translational Research
Division of Radiation Oncology
tel. 713 792-3263
fax 713 794-5369
October 28, 2004
Milas Receives ASTRO Gold Medal Award for Life-Long Achievements in Field
of Radiation Oncology
Luka Milas, M.D., professor of experimental radiation oncology
and deputy head for translational research in the Division of Radiation
Oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, is one of
three scientists this year to receive the Gold Medal, the highest honor the
society bestows, from the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation
Oncology (ASTRO). ASTRO is the world's largest society of radiation
The award honors members who have made outstanding contributions in the
field of radiation oncology, including research, clinical care, teaching
and service. Milas was recognized earlier this month at the society's 46th
annual meeting in Atlanta.
"Receiving the Gold Medal award is an honor and I am deeply moved," Milas
said. "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with so
many dedicated scientists and physicians in moving our research from the
lab to the clinic where patients can benefit from this translational
Devoting much of his career to researching basic tumor biology and refining
clinical radiation oncology, Milas has made significant contributions to
understanding the interactions between tumor and hosts for both primary
tumors and metastasis. He greatly contributed to treatment strategies that
increase therapeutic efficacy of radiotherapy, notably combined treatment
modalities. Many of his research findings have been extended to clinical
trials both at M. D. Anderson and worldwide. He has been a leader in
defining the effect of COX-2 (cyclooxygenase enzyme) inhibitors on tumor
growth and treatment response. He was among the first to demonstrate
improvement in tumor response to radiotherapy by an antibody to the
epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
"Luka has served as a wonderful mentor to young people in medicine - many
faculty have benefited, but the most important evidence is that all three
of his children chose medicine as a career," said James Cox, M.D., division
head and professor of radiation oncology at M. D. Anderson.
According to Milas, Lela, his wife of 42 years, and his children have been
his biggest supporters. His family of physicians includes his two
daughters, Mira, and Dubravka, an endocrine surgeon and family
practitioner, respectively, and his son, Zvoninir, a surgery resident.
Milas earned his medical degree from the University of Zagreb in Croatia in
1963 and joined the M. D. Anderson faculty in 1967 as a postdoctoral fellow
in the section of experimental radiotherapy where he served until 1969.
During the 1970s, he moved between Zagreb and Houston, and in 1980 returned
permanently to M. D. Anderson as the chairman of the department of
experimental radiation oncology, a position he held until 2002.
Milas has served on a number of committees, including the Tumor Biology
Committee and the Finance Committee of ASTRO. From 1992 until 2002, he
served as vice chairman of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Tumor
Biology Committee. He has received a number of awards, including election
to the Croatian Academy of Science and Art, the Miles Fellowship and since
1986 has held the United Energy Resources, Inc., professorship.
Vesna J. Tomazic-Jezic, Ph.D.
FDA, Center for Devices and Radiological Health
Office of Science & Engineering Laboratories,
Division of Biologicals , HFZ-120
Tel: (301) 796-0259
Fax: (301) 796-9826
Failla Lecturer H. Thames along with current and past colleagues just after his lecture:
J. Kummermehr, L. Milas, Thames, K. Ang, A. van der Kogel, and R. Withers.