ANRA Lifetime Achievement Awards in Neuroblastoma Research
Audrey Evans, MD
In 1975, Dr. Audrey Evans hosted the first ever Advances in Neuroblastoma Research meeting at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Audrey had already contributed significantly to the field of neuroblastoma research, including the formulation of the first ever neuroblastoma staging system. She and her co-worker Giulio D'Angio also brought attention to the phenomenon of spontaneous regression of neuroblastoma in infants, especially those with a special pattern of dissemination restricted to liver, skin, and bone marrow, known as stage IVS. Audrey continued to host Neuroblastoma Research meetings in Philadelphia every few years, and she continued to make seminal contributions to this enigmatic disease, elucidating its natural history, advancing therapy and improving outcome. Audrey was affectionately known by many as the "mother" of neuroblastoma research, in part because she was responsible for training or inspiring many in the field.
By the 1990's, neuroblastoma research meetings were also being held in Europe, organized by Dr. Manfred Schwab. So, in 1994 at a meeting in Heidelberg Germany, Audrey and Manfred agreed to have the neuroblastoma research meetings held every two years, and to alternate between Europe and Philadelphia. In some ways, this was the beginning of what would become the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association. In 2000, a neuroblastoma research meeting was again held in Philadelphia, 25 years after the first ever meeting in that city. It was decided by other organizers of that meeting, in consultation with leaders in neuroblastoma research throughout the world, to honor Audrey with the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award in Neuroblastoma Research. This honor was bestowed on her at the ANR meeting traditional gala dinner.