American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2008

In Memoriam: Judah Folkman, M.D. (1933-2008)


January 15, 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- Judah Folkman, M.D., director of the vascular biology program at Children's Hospital Boston and the Andrus professor of pediatric surgery and professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, died suddenly January 14, 2008. He was 74.

Internationally renowned as a pioneer in the field of angiogenesis research, Dr. Folkman's landmark discovery that cutting off a cancerous tumor's blood supply inhibited its growth and ability to spread revolutionized cancer treatment. Dr. Folkman's laboratory was the first to purify angiogenic protein from a tumor, basic research which led to the discovery of the first angiogenesis inhibitors and ultimately to clinical trials of anti-angiogenic therapy. Today, angiogenesis inhibitors such as Avastin, Tarceva and Macugen have received FDA approval in the U.S. and similar regulatory approval in 27 other countries for the treatment of cancer and/or macular degeneration. Dr. Folkman's research provides a firm scientific foundation for the pursuit of anti-angiogenic therapy, not only for the treatment of cancer, but for many non-neoplastic diseases.

"Judah Folkman's passing is a tremendous and tragic loss for humankind," said AACR Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.). "In addition to his brilliant and distinguished cancer research career, Judah was highly regarded by the cancer community as a supportive mentor, a dedicated teacher, and esteemed colleague. His legacy of discovery and ingenuity in the field of angiogenesis will continue to inspire cancer researchers and give hope to countless individuals living with the disease. He was certainly a valued friend of the AACR and we extend our deepest condolences to the Folkman family."

An active member of the American Association for Cancer Research since 1990, Dr. Folkman served as an associate editor of two AACR journals, Cancer Research (1990 - 2000) and Clinical Cancer Research (1999 - 2002). He was the 1985 recipient of the AACR- G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in cancer research. Dr. Folkman also demonstrated his commitment to cancer research philanthropy as a trustee of the AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer.

Through his work with the AACR and through leadership and advisory positions with a host of prestigious scientific institutions and organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, The National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Pediatric Surgical Association, Dr. Folkman helped to define the field of cancer and biomedical research.


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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes nearly 27,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is the only journal worldwide dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

 

Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg
             (267) 646-0616
             staci.goldberg@aacr.org