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Cancer Res. 2019 Sep 1;79(17):4315-4323. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0989. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

A Tribute to John Mendelsohn: A Pioneer in Targeted Cancer Therapy.

Author information

1
Cancer Biology Program, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India. rakeshkumar@rgcb.res.in.
2
Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia.
3
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.
4
Department of Pathology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
5
Medical Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Gemelli, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.
6
Medical Oncology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.
7
Dipartimento di Medicina di Precisione, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Napoli, Italy.
8
University of California Davis School of Medicine, Davis, California.
9
Department of Medicine, Segal Cancer Center and Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
10
Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Abstract

Cancer scientists and clinicians are mourning the death of one of the most accomplished members of their community: Dr. John Mendelsohn. He was a pioneer in targeted cancer therapy and was instrumental for the discovery and deployment of the first antagonist epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapeutic antibodies, broadening the concept of targeted EGFR therapy to encompass other receptor tyrosine kinases, such as HER2, and developing blocking antibody-combination therapy with chemotherapies or radiotherapy. Dr. Mendelsohn, who died on January 7, 2019, always led by the strength of his accomplishments and the humility of his character. Above all, he was a well-revered mentor and clinician, who extended compassion and the gift of his time to patients, colleagues, and mentees alike. In tribute to Dr. Mendelsohn, Cancer Research has invited his former mentees and colleagues who were associated with Dr. Mendelsohn for over three decades to reflect on the broad impact of his work. Here, we discuss Dr. Mendelsohn's illustrious career at three elite academic cancer institutions and hospitals in the United States, his acumen to build, grow, and uplift institutions, and train a generation of medical oncologists, physician scientists, and cancer biologists. His profound legacy on targeted therapy and cancer research and treatment continue to prolong and save the lives of cancer patients globally.

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