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Marty Abeloff: Farewell To A Great Physician

The oncology community bid farewell to one of its greatest leaders last week, Dr. Marty Abeloff.  Marty was a dear colleague of Dr. Avrum Bluming (a guest blogger and friend of Dr. Val & The Voice of Reason) and Av was kind enough to write this obituary to honor him:

On September 14, 2007, Marty Abeloff died.

An intelligent, gracious, caring and supportive human being, he brought all those qualities to his roles as physician, mentor, educator, administrator, and friend.

He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Johns Hopkins and an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of Johns Hopkins Medical School. He did his house staff/fellowship training at the University of Chicago, the National Cancer Institute, Harvard, the New England Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins. At the time of his death, he was Professor of Medicine and Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. He was a past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, past Chairman of the Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration, past Chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors to the National Cancer Institute’s intramural division of clinical sciences, and past Chairman of the Breast Cancer Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. He was the lead Editor of Clinical Oncology, a comprehensive textbook, now in its third printing, Editor of Current Opinion in Oncology, former Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and founding Editor in Chief of Oncology News International, a wonderfully informative periodical, a position he established and occupied since 1992.

He was held in high esteem by his peers, and beloved by his colleagues, co-workers, patients, students, family members and friends. Patients held on to his phone number long after they finished treatment, and those of us seeking advise in the management of our own patients never hesitated to call upon his help. He was always available and always helpful.

Any individual looking to fashion a life and career distinguished by accomplishment and filled with love could find no finer role model.

Avrum Z. Bluming, MD, MACP

Clinical Professor of Medicine

University of Southern California

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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