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. Mortonfs 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.