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Silke Gillessen Sommer


Professor Silke Gillessen is a Medical Oncologist with focus on genitourinary (GU) cancers.

Prof Gillessen completed her training in Basel, St. Gallen, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. After returning to Switzerland, she built up the medical oncology unit for genitourinary cancer in Cantonal Hospital, St Gallen and lead the Clinical Research Department. From 2018, Prof Gillessen has been Genitourinary Cancer Systemic Therapy Research Chair at the University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant at The Christie Hospital. Currently she still holds an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the ESMO guidelines and a panellist of the EAU guidelines for prostate cancer.

She served for two terms as president of the SAKK GU group. She chaired the EORTC Genitourinary Cancers Group. She has led numerous clinical trials since 1995 and won the prestigious SAKK/Pfizer Award in 2011 and she is the leading organizer and founder of the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APCCC) which informs cancer physicians how to use state-of-the-art therapies for their patients.

Prof Gillessen was appointed from January 2020 as Head of the Department of Medical Oncology, full professor at the USI and Director of the IOSI in Lugano and Bellinzona.


My research focus on precision oncology and novel treatments for prostate, testicular and penile cancers.

Metastatic prostate cancer is still a huge challenge to both medicine and research. It is a devastating disease: for most men, it will spread to their bones and lymph nodes and is often fatal. My research concentrates to find ways to optimize both the treatment and quality of life for these patients.

As a medical oncologist I am aiming to support more biomarker-driven clinical trials and to further personalise medicine in prostate cancer using molecular targeted drugs and immunotherapy. 

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