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  • 2001 Tokyo
  • 2003 Beijing
  • 2004 London
  • 2006 Washington DC
  • 2007 Vienna
  • 2008 New York
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Profile:

Dr. Donald L. MORTON (2006)

Dr. Donald L. Morton M.D., F.A.C.S. is an accomplished surgical oncologist and a renowned clinical scientist whose fundamental discoveries during the last 40 years have profoundly changed the treatment of human cancer. Dr. Morton is currently Medical Director and Surgeon-in-Chief, John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, CA, Clinical Professor of Surgery at University of Southern California, and Professor of Surgery Emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine.

He has authored more than 600 studies in peer-reviewed professional journals and has received peer-reviewed research funding for 34 years. According to the journal Science (June 15, 2001), Dr. Mortonfs peer-reviewed grant awards put him at the top of a list of clinical investigators who received the most grant funding from the National Institutes of Health during 2000. Dr. Morton began a landmark series of investigations using bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). He found that administering BCG with irradiated but viable tumor cells was the most effective method to induce active specific immunity against murine and guinea pig neoplasms. His pioneering work with BCG in melanoma metastatic to the bladder set the stage for BCG as the first FDA-approved immunotherapy for human bladder cancer. Dr. Morton and co-workers demonstrated that serum from melanoma patients undergoing active specific (vaccine) immunotherapy contained antibodies that reacted with ganglioside and protein antigens. The vaccine-induced immune response against these antigens correlated directly with survival. Based on this seminal work, he formulated a potent whole-cell vaccine from melanoma cell lines that expressed specific immunogenic antigens isolated and characterized by his group. Extensive phase II trials demonstrated a correlation between immune responses to the vaccine and prolonged survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.

He was Head, Tumor Immunology Section and Senior Surgeon, Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD. Dr. Morton also served as Presidents of International Sentinel Node Society, World Federation of Surgical Oncology Societies and Society of Surgical Oncology.