For pioneering the development of transformative therapies for leukemias, lymphomas, and other blood cancers, and for leading the first clinical trial demonstrating the utility of autologous bone marrow transplantation.
An internationally lauded pioneer in the development of transformative therapies for leukemias, lymphomas, and other blood cancers, Dr. Appelbaum is widely recognized for his contributions to cancer treatment. During his tenure at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), he was the lead author on the first publication demonstrating the successful use of autologous (self-to-self) bone marrow transplantation in patients with malignant lymphomas. It is now estimated that over 30,000 patients receive this treatment annually.
Dr. Appelbaum was the lead author on the first publications demonstrating the ability of allogeneic marrow transplantation to cure myelodysplasia, recurrent Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. During his research career, Dr. Appelbaum not only helped refine stem cell transplant techniques but also contributed to the development of novel non-transplant therapeutics to treat blood cancers. He served as a key contributor to the development of gemtuzumab ozogamicin, the first monoclonal antibody-drug conjugate approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any disease. He also pioneered the concept of applying radio-immunotherapy to the treatment of leukemia, an approach that is now being testing in pivotal phase 3 trials.
Beyond his significant research accomplishments, Dr. Appelbaum has been a national leader in clinical trial design. As part of his work with the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Cancer Research Network, he led the development of the first multi-institutional marrow transplant clinical trials group. This initial group would eventually serve as a model for the federally funded Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, which is committed to enabling widespread transplant community participation in transplant clinical trials.
2019 Giants of Cancer Care Award, OncLive
2019 Fellow of the American Association of Cancer Research Academy
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, Seattle Business Magazine
2014 Washington State Academy of Science
2013 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
2012-2014 Chair, Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network Steering Committee
2007 Statesman Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology
2001-2004 Board of Directors, American Association for Cancer Research
1999 Leukemia Society of America 50th Anniversary Lecturer
1999-2004 Chair, Board of Scientific Advisors, National Cancer Institute
1996-1999 Board of Scientific Advisors, National Cancer Institute
1994-1998 American Society of Hematology, Board of Councilors
1993- 2003 Associate Editor, Cancer Research
1990- 1993 Board of Directors, American Society of Clinical Oncology