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Promise and Progress - Letter from the Director

A Cancer Revolution

Letter from the Director

Date: December 1, 2004

30 Years of Promise and Progress

It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed since our Cancer Center first opened its doors. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness each decade of growth and achievement, and from many points of view—as an oncology fellow and faculty member in the ’70s, as chief of medical oncology in the ’80s and ’90s, and now as Director of the Center for more than a decade.

I am both proud and in awe of the contributions our Center investigators and clinicians have made to the understanding of the basic biology of the cancer cell and the advancement of cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment. It has not been an easy journey. The complexity of the cancer cell has been daunting. With each new challenge, however, our dedicated team of basic scientists, medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, nurses, and other specialists have worked collaboratively to uncover the Achilles’ heel of the cancer cell.  Through the discovery of new cellular pathways, cancer biomarkers, genetic abnormalities, and new anti-cancer drugs, we’ve been able to stave off certain cancers, detect others earlier, hold some in check, and target therapies to the specific characteristics of each patient’s cancer.

The last three decades have been filled with many milestones for our Center, but none of this progress would have been possible without our partnerships with the National Cancer Institute, the State of Maryland and the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund, and our donors.

When we outgrew our original facilities, the Weinberg, Bunting, and Blaustein families, and countless others stepped forward to give us the state-of-the-art clinical and research facilities that enable us to continue moving forward in our battle against cancer. From our Center’s namesake, Sidney Kimmel, whose $150 million gift was the largest in Hopkins’ history, to 10-year-old Conor Griffin Goetz, who gave his entire savings, and to all those in between, each has had a hand in our discoveries of the past and our vision of a future free of cancer.

Martin D. Abeloff, M.D.
Eli Kennerly Marshall, Jr. Professor of Oncology
Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins