Our work at AstraZeneca is among the most exciting I’ve experienced in my 20+ years spent in research. We have a rich and growing pipeline of new molecular entities and marketed therapies that have the potential to address unmet needs, including in hard-to-treat diseases. Every day, we are pushing the boundaries of science and challenging the status quo to deliver practice-changing medicines.

As AstraZeneca and Alexion Chief Medical Officer, I am responsible for ensuring that patients, physicians and regulatory agencies are provided with information on the safe and appropriate use of our medicines. I lead patient safety and quality assurance activities for our entire portfolio – from investigational new drugs to established products.

Additionally, as Oncology Chief Development Officer, I lead AstraZeneca’s late-stage Oncology portfolio of innovative medicines and immunotherapies through global clinical development and regulatory submissions. In this role, I oversee a team of clinical development and operations colleagues around the world, who are currently responsible for a broad portfolio of potential medicines, and more than 150 studies spanning multiple Oncology indications.

Before joining AstraZeneca, I held a variety of clinical development leadership roles at Pfizer and at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Over the last several years, I have lectured extensively on topics including immunotherapy clinical trials, breast cancer and clinical development of PI3K inhibitors. I have published on a wide range of cancer topics, authoring 50 peer-reviewed papers and more than 100 conference abstracts. I have also generated several patents for cancer treatment combinations and regimens.

A medical oncologist by training, I earned my medical degree from Marche Polytechnic University and received Medical Oncology training at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Kaplan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the European Institute of Oncology.

Ensuring patient safety has always been the number one priority at AstraZeneca and a leading focus of my work as an oncologist. Bringing safe, high quality, practice-changing treatments to patients is my passion and what drives me every day – together with the thought that we are transforming outcomes in cancer, and getting closer to finding a cure.

Cristian Massacesi Chief Medical Officer and Oncology Chief Development Officer, AstraZeneca


Several Novartis awards including: President’s Award, Vision Award and Region Europe Award


Italian League Against Cancer’s Leonida Gennarelli Grant


A. Girombelli Prize for Best Oncology Dissertation

Headshot of Dr. Cristian Massacesi, Senior Vice President, Head of Late Stage Development Oncology at AstraZeneca


Chief Medical Officer and Oncology Chief Development Officer, AstraZeneca

2019 - 2021

Senior Vice President and Head of Late Development Oncology, AstraZeneca. Led, grew and steered the acceleration of AstraZeneca’s innovative late-stage Oncology portfolio through global clinical development and regulatory submissions

2017 - 2019

Led multiple development programs and submissions with small molecule and immunotherapy in lung cancer, head and neck cancer, haematological malignancies and innovative combinations as Vice President, Medicine Team Leader, Oncology for Pfizer

2010 - 2017

Held increasing levels of responsibility in Oncology Global Development at Novartis: Vice-President, Senior Global Clinical Program Head, leading clinical development of the PI3Ki portfolio, including multiple submissions and registrational studies and headed the Immunotherapy Center of Excellence; Paris Oncology Site head for a global full-development group across functions and portfolio

 Featured publications

Starting the fight in the tumor: expert recommendations for the development of human intratumoral immunotherapy (HIT-IT)

Marabelle A, Andtbacka R, Harrington K, Melero I, Leidner R, de Baere T, Robert C, Ascierto PA, Baurain JF, Imperiale M, Rahimian S, Tersago D, Klumper E, Hendriks M, Kumar R, Stern M, Öhrling K, Massacesi C, Tchakov I, Tse A, Douillard JY, Tabernero J, Haanen J, Brody J. Ann Oncol. 2018 Nov 1;29(11):2163-2174 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6290929/

Phase II study of buparlisib (BKM120) in combination with trastuzumab in patients with HER2+ locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer resistant to trastuzumab-based therapy

Pistilli B, Pluard T, Urruticoechea A, Farci D, Kong A, Bachelot T, Chan S, Han HS, Jerusalem G, Urban P, Robinson D, Mouhaër SL, Tomaso ED, Massacesi C, Saura C. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Apr;168(2):357-364

First-Line ceritinib versus platinum-based chemotherapy in advanced ALK-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (ASCEND-4): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 study

Soria JC, Tan DSW, Chiari R, Wu YL, Paz-Ares L, Wolf J, Geater SL, Orlov S, Cortinovis D, Yu CJ, Hochmair M, Cortot AB, Tsai CM, Moro-Sibilot D, Campelo RG, McCulloch T, Sen P, Dugan M, Pantano S, Branle F, Massacesi C, de Castro G Jr. Lancet. 2017 Mar 4;389(10072):917-929 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)30123-X/fulltext

Buparlisib plus fulvestrant versus placebo plus fulvestrant in postmenopausal, hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, advanced breast cancer (BELLE-2): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial

Baselga J, Im SA, Iwata H, Cortés J, De Laurentiis M, Jiang Z, Arteaga CL, Jonat W, Clemons M, Ito Y, Awada A, Chia S, Jagiełło-Gruszfeld A, Pistilli B, Tseng LM, Hurvitz S, Masuda N, Takahashi M, Vuylsteke P, Hachemi S, Dharan B, Di Tomaso E, Urban P, Massacesi C, Campone M. Lancet Oncol. 2017 Jul;18(7):904-916 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(17)30376-5/fulltext

Ceritinib versus chemotherapy in patients with ALK-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer previously given chemotherapy and crizotinib (ASCEND-5): a randomised, controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial

Shaw AT, Kim TM, Crinò L, Gridelli C, Kiura K, Liu G, Novello S, Bearz A, Gautschi O, Mok T, Nishio M, Scagliotti G, Spigel DR, Deudon S, Zheng C, Pantano S, Urban P, Massacesi C, Viraswami-Appanna K, Felip E. Lancet Oncol. 2017 Jul;18(7):874-886 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(17)30339-X/fulltext

PI3K inhibitors as new cancer therapeutics: implications for clinical trial design

Massacesi C, Di Tomaso E, Urban P, Germa C, Quadt C, Trandafir L, Aimone P, Fretault N, Dharan B, Tavorath R, Hirawat S. Onco Targets Ther. 2016 Jan 7;9:203–210 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708174/

Overcoming Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3K) activation in breast cancer: Emerging PI3K inhibitors

Massacesi C, Di Tomaso E, Urban P, Germa C, Fretault N, Bharani-Dharan B, Tavorath R, Quadt C, Coughlin C, Hirawat S. J Oncopath. 2015 Feb;3(1):27-39 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272407924_Overcoming_Phosphatidylinositol_3-Kinase_PI3K_Activation_in_Breast_Cancer_Emerging_PI3K_Inhibitors

Phase Ib Study of Buparlisib plus Trastuzumab in Patients with HER2-Positive Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer That Has Progressed on Trastuzumab-Based Therapy

Saura C, Bendell J, Jerusalem G, Su S, Ru Q, De Buck S, Mills D, Ruquet S, Bosch A, Urruticoechea A, Beck JT, Di Tomaso E, Sternberg DW, Massacesi C, Hirawat S, Dirix L, Baselga J. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Apr 1;20(7):1935-45 https://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/20/7/1935

Phase I Study of Everolimus Plus Weekly Paclitaxel and Trastuzumab in Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Pretreated With Trastuzumab

Andre F, Campone M, O’Regan R, Manlius C, Massacesi C, Sahmoud T, Mukhopadhyay P, Soria JC, Naughton M, Hurvitz SA. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Dec 1;28(34):5110-5 https://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/JCO.2009.27.8549

Veeva ID: Z4-36950
Date of preparation: August 2021