Emil Frei

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Emil Frei III
Nci-vol-1838-300 Emil Frei.jpg
Born(1924-02-21)February 21, 1924
DiedApril 30, 2013(2013-04-30) (aged 89)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materColgate University
Yale School of Medicine
Known forCancer research
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Smith (nurse), 1948-1986 (her death)
Adoria Brock, 1987-2009 (her death)
Scientific career
InstitutionsNational Cancer Institute
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Emil "Tom" Frei III (February 21, 1924 – April 30, 2013) was an American physician and oncologist. He was the former director and former physician-in-chief of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He was also the Richard and Susan Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Frei was born in 1924 in St. Louis.[2] His family owned the stained glass manufacturer Emil Frei & Associates. Frei completed an accelerated pre-med Colgate University in 1944 after only 2 years of study[3] and his medical degree from Yale University in 1948.


He interned at Firmin Desloge Hospital, now St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri and served as a physician in the Korean War. He worked at the National Cancer Institute from 1955 to 1965 and the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1965 to 1972; while at M.D. Anderson he was the founding director of the Department of Development Therapeutics, which evolved into the Clinical Research Center. He served as physician-in-chief at the Dana-Farber Institute from 1972 to 1991. He is best known for his work on the treatment of lymphomas and childhood and adult leukemia.[4] His groundbreaking research into then-controversial combination chemotherapy, including the VAMP regimen, earned him many awards.[3][5]

He coauthored "Cancer Medicine" with Dr. James F. Holland.

Involvement in Cancer Cooperative Group Research[edit]

Frei was one of the founders of the Acute Leukemia Group B which later evolved into the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB). He served as the group chair for 16 years, from 1956 to 1963, and again from 1981 to 1990.[6]

Journal of Clinical Oncology[edit]

He coined the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 1981, journal published first issue in 1983 in association with American Society of Clinical Oncology.[7]


Dr. Emil Frei with Edna Jones in 1972

In 1972 he received the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award from the Lasker Foundation "for his outstanding contribution in application of the concept of combination chemotherapy for lymphoma and acute adult leukemia."[8] Other awards included the Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award (1978); NIH Distinguished Alumni Award (1990); Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999); Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research (2003); and AARC Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).[9]


Frei died of Parkinson's disease at his home in Oak Park, Illinois on April 30, 2013. He was 89.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Official biography". Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (4 May 2013). "Emil Frei III, Who Put Cancer Cures in Reach, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Emil Frei III, MD: In Memoriam (1924–2013) | Cancer Research".
  4. ^ "Emil Frei III". Animals in Research. National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 30 October 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  5. ^ Mukherjee, Siddhartha (2011). The Emperor of All Maladies. NY: Scribbler. pp. 139–142.
  6. ^ "History of CALGB". Archived from the original on 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  7. ^ Bertino, Joseph R. (1983). "Editorial: A journal for Oncologists". Journal of Clinical Oncology. 1 (1): 1. doi:10.1200/JCO.1983.1.1.1.
  8. ^ "Lasker Award". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Biographical note: Emil Frei, III". Making Cancer History Voices Collection. University of Texas Archival Resources Online. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.

External links[edit]