Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe
EventsAward of Excellence

Award of Excellence and Innovation in IR

The Award of Excellence and Innovation in Interventional Radiology is sponsored by the Rolf W. Günther Foundation for Radiological Sciences and is awarded for outstanding work for the advancement of interventional radiology. Established in 2012, this distinction has been given to some of the most innovative physicians in the field. The distinction comes with a cash prize of € 6,000.

This year’s winners

This year, the honour has gone to Prof. Ulrich Speck and Prof. Bruno Scheller for their work on the development of drug-coated balloons for local treatment of intimal hyperplasia, which included the development of a completely new concept and device and recognised treatment.

The Innovation:

Prof. Speck and Prof. Scheller worked in close cooperation on the development of drug-coated balloons (DCB) for local treatment of intimal hyperplasia. Based on their observations with paclitaxel mixed contrast medium leading to inhibition of intimal proliferation after coronary angioplasty (1999), the two took the next step to local application of an antiproliferative agent on an angioplasty balloon. The first proof of concept was started in a porcine coronary model in 2002. Local intracoronary treatment with paclitaxel balloon coating resulted in a significant reduction of late lumen loss and an increase in minimal lumen diameter compared with controls.

A first-in-man randomised study in the coronaries was initiated in Dec. 2003 in Germany (PACCOCATH In-Stent Restenosis I Trial) showing significantly better results in the PACCOCATH balloon group. The effect in the coronaries was confirmed by other studies like the PACCOCATH ISR II Trial and further studies by other groups. Favourable effects on patency rates were also seen in the femoropopliteal arteries. Long-term safety following paclitaxel exposure there is discussed controversially. DCBs also showed their effectiveness in arteries below the knee (BTK), while results in dysfunctional haemodialysis fistulas were less consistent.

Interview with Prof. Scheller

Prof. Scheller joined the CIRSE 2021 Summit Opening Ceremony to talk about his work and accept the Award of Excellence and Innovation in IR.

About the winners:

Prof. Ulrich Speck is a professor of experimental radiology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, Germany. He is author or co-author of more than 100 research papers and has contributed to numerous reviews and text books. He also holds more than fifty patents in areas ranging from diagnostic imaging to pharmaceutical preparations. He is especially interested in further developing drug-coated balloon catheters, patenting new inventions, exploring new treatment options in image guided therapy, and seeing research through basic experiments all the way to proof-of-concept clinical trials.

Prof. Bruno Scheller is a consultant for internal medicine, cardiology, and intensive care, as well as a full professor for clinical and experimental interventional cardiology at the University Hospital in Homburg/Saar, Germany. He has published extensively, including more than 100 original papers, and his current areas of scientific activity extend to acute myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) and thrombotic complications, alternative techniques for PCI, restenosis, drug coated balloon technology, and catheter-based treatment of structural heart disease.

Past winners

2023Yuji Okuno for his work on the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal inflammation and pain
2022William T. Kuo for his work on the Excimer laser-assisted removal of embedded IVC filters
2021Ulrich Speck and Bruno Scheller for their work on using drug-coated balloons (DCB) for the local treatment of intimal hyperplasia
2020Frédéric Deschamps for his work on percutaneous fixation by internal cemented-screw in bone cancer patients
2019Boris Guiu and Mathieu T. Boulin for their work on Idarubicin as Anticancer Agent for Transarterial Chemoembolisation (TACE) of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
2018M. Itkin for his development of new imaging and intervention techniques of the lymphatic system
2017Hans Henkes for his pioneering development of cerebral stent thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke
2017MRCLEAN trialists for their groundbreaking trial on endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke
2016F. Carnevale for his pioneering work on prostate embolisation
2015P. Bize, G. Borchard, A. Denys, K. Fuchs and O. Jordan for their research on drug-eluting beads loaded with anti-angiogenic agents for chemoembolisation
2014M.G.E.H. Lam, J.F.W. Nijsen and M.A.A.J. van den Bosch for their development of the Holmium-166 microspheres and assessing safety and maximum tolerated radiation dose
2013S. Lerouge and G. Soulez for their development of an embolizing sclerosing hydrogel for the treatment of endoleaks, vascular malformations and venous disease
2012A. Bolia and J.A. Reekers for their development and promotion of subintimal angioplasty

CIRSE would like to warmly thank the R.W. Günther Foundation for funding the award.