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Dr. Laurence Klotz, MD, 2022 Recipient of Chodak Award

On May 6, 2022, Active Surveillance Patients International (ASPI), a non-profit patient-run advocacy organization, presented its first Annual Chodak Award to Dr. Laurence Klotz, University of Toronto professor and researcher and Chairman of the World Uro-Oncology Federation. Recognized as an expert in the global Prostate Cancer community, Klotz, in the late 1990s, conceived of, named and developed the strategic management approach of Active Surveillance (AS) for men diagnosed with low and favorable intermediate-grade prostate cancer.

This award was presented in a virtual ceremony in honor of the late Dr. Gerald Chodak, Klotz’s mentor, whose inspiration led Klotz to propel AS into a burgeoning AS global movement. Dr. Chodak, who passed away in 2019, was a urology professor at the University of Chicago and initiated the idea of conservative treatment of patients with low-risk prostate cancer in 1994 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Chodak, a true pioneer facing pushback from some experts, was the first medical advisor to ASPI and the co-founder of the UsToo support group for patients with prostate cancer thirty years ago.

The ceremony featured moving tributes to Chodak and Klotz, who asserts that Active Surveillance should continue to be a standard of care while the urological community continues to refine prostate cancer screening methods to reduce overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Klotz told the virtual ceremony: “This really is a unique and unprecedented gesture and honor. When ASPI called me and said we’re giving you this award, I was so touched, partly because of my memory of, and debt, to Gerry and partly because this is really something unique. I’ve been fortunate to get lots of honors, but not one like this. It represents patient appreciation. It represents the partnership between physicians and the community and recognizes the importance of conservative management. It’s a wonderful thing in so many ways.”

Mark Lichty, Chairman, and Co-Founder of ASPI, remarked, “millions of us owe a deep debt of gratitude to these two doctors who faced adversity in furthering their vision to help patients avoid unnecessary surgery and radiation therapy with all the side effects.” He later added: “ASPI hopes that the example of these two courageous men might inspire patients throughout the world to be empowered during their health journey.”

Active Surveillance Patients International’s mission is to provide newly diagnosed men and those already observing an AS protocol with the latest information to allow them to make informed decisions with their doctors.

Howard Wolinsky, ASPI co-founder, pays tribute to the late Dr. Gerald Chodak, along with Dr. Laurence Klotz.