July 15, 2009- Surgeon John L. Cameron, M.D., for 19 years the surgeon in chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, is among the 2009 recipients of the Hope Funds Awards of Excellence in cancer research. He is being honored for decades of work refining the Whipple procedure, one of the most common surgical treatments for pancreatic cancer, work that has helped reduce postsurgery death rates from 25 percent to less than 5 percent.
Cameron, the Alfred Blalock Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will be honored along with two other distinguished cancer scientists and a Wall Street Journal reporter, on July 18, at a dinner in Newport, R.I.
The Hope Funds Awards of Excellence, now in their third year, are given to individuals nominated by their peers and selected for their service in the field of cancer research and treatment, their contributions to advancing cancer care, and their personal integrity and character.
Cameron is believed to have operated on more people with pancreatic cancer than any other surgeon in the world. Colleagues say his meticulous efforts to perfect the Whipple procedure have extended the reach of potential cures involving this complex and difficult procedure.
“This is a great and truly befitting honor for John, who has not only spent his career dedicated to pancreas surgery and improving the care of patients with pancreatic cancer, but has trained many of the top pancreas surgeons in the country, providing a crucial medical legacy that will benefit patients for many decades to come,” says Julie A. Freischlag, M.D., who succeeded Cameron in 2003 as surgeon in chief at Johns Hopkins. Freischlag is also The William Stewart Halsted Professor at Hopkins.
Cameron earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1958 and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1962. All of his postdoctoral training in general and thoracic surgery took place at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Cameron has had a long-standing interest in alimentary tract diseases, and specifically in pancreatic cancer. He is past president of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, the Southern Surgical Association, the Society of Clinical Surgery, the Society of Surgical Chairmen, the Halsted Society and the American Surgical Association, and he is currently president of the American College of Surgeons.
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Media contact: David March