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Oettlé Memorial award 2017 to Professor Greta Dreyer

History of the Medal

Prof Greta Dreyer with Prof Patrick Arbuthnot (RESCOM Chairperson) after receiving her medal

Greta Dreyer has been recognised and selected to receive the coveted AG Oettlé Memorial medal from CANSA for outstanding contributions to cancer research, training and clinical work. She has devoted all of her professional life since 1995 to the field of gynaecologic oncology in SA and continues to serve on numerous committees within the cancer platform and is relentlessly committed to advancing knowledge in this field. She continues to inspire and mentor many young scientists in the fight against cancer and help more women survive cancer.

Greta Dreyer graduated from the University of Pretoria in 1987 with an MBChB, an MMed in 1994 and a PhD in 2011. She is currently an Associate Professor and Head of the Gynaecologic Oncology Unit at Pretoria Academic Hospital and the University of Pretoria. Her unit admits about 400 new patients with cervical cancer per year, of which about one hundred qualifies for radical surgery. She is personally involved in about fifty radical hysterectomies per year; operates on many ovarian cancer patients per year as well as numerous patients with other female cancers.

Professor Dreyer has vast experience in the management of cancer risk, including cancer risk estimation, genetic testing, counselling, cancer screening and cancer prevention strategies. This stems mainly from her intensive involvement with the Familial Cancer Clinic since 1997 and her involvement in HPV research and testing since 2004. She actively engages in research in women’s cancer. Her main interests include viral oncogenesis, cancer prevention in women who are predisposed through inheritance or immune depletion. Greta is also interested in building research capacity and development of surgical skills in under-resourced areas.

Professor Dreyer’s teaching activities include presenting numerous education and pedagogic courses and she produced nineteen educational publications and products. Other teaching contributions include being a member of five national and ten international bodies, the founder and director of the HPV Cervical Cancer Research Fund (non-profit company) and executive director of the UP-Netcare Familial Cancer Centre (private – public partnership). She also participated in national and international teaching associations, bodies and committees as convener, examiner and moderator. Greta has trained 39 postgraduate students in an area of high relevance to the cancer landscape in South Africa and currently supervises 10 students.

Her research outputs include 43 publications that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and an additional three that are currently in press, fifteen published conference papers/keynote addresses and five technical reports. Professor Dreyer has been the Founder (and Editor-in-chief until July 2017) of the Southern African Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (SAJGO), Chair of the Research Committee of the University of Pretoria’s School of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine from 2013 to 2014, Head of the Women’s Cancer Research Group, Academic Head of the Gynaecological Oncology Service Unit and member of the Executive Committee of the School of Medicine from 2007 until 2009.

Prof Dreyer’s community outreach projects include workshops and tuition of volunteers and nurses at CANSA. She was involved with the Reach for Recovery group, volunteer nursing education programmes, regular radio talks, TV shows on medical matters, colposcopy and treatment courses for medical doctors/health care workers.

Greta has served on several panels and advisory boards. She has been a member of the Sub-Saharan Africa HPV Expert Panel since 2006 and Chair of the Research Group of the South African HPV Advisory Board.

CANSA honours this distinguished scientist in recognition of her remarkable contribution to reducing the impact of cancer on the women of our country.

Read more about previous winners of the medal

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