LAS VEGAS, Feb. 17, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Dr. Emil Frei III, one of the world's premier researchers in the field of oncology chemotherapy, today announced that he has established a new consultative services firm to meet the growing global needs of entrepreneurs and scientists in the fight against cancer. His plan will provide for a stronger and more consistent approach to the development of drugs and most therapeutic biologics used to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer.
Molecular science by identifying target molecules on tumor cells is producing new agents-agents for which clinical trials may be indicated. Antibodies, that may attach specifically to tumor cells may be fueled with highly toxic molecules, have recently proven capable of controlling cancer in preliminary trials. This is just an example of the many categories of basic science which are in ferment.
Dr. Frei, being one of the leading cancer researchers in the world, has originated some of the most revolutionary oncology breakthroughs of the last century and is respected throughout the medical community for his stellar contributions. Dr. Frei is a legend in the development of modern chemotherapy treatments. He is Physician-in-Chief Emeritus at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute -- Harvard Medical School and has served on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of Clinical Oncology among others. Past appointments in his distinguished career include: served as President of both the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He was the Director of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and Chief of Medicine at the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD and Chief of Clinical Therapeutic Research at M.D. Anderson in Houston Texas.
"Dr Emil Frei III, who was my first mentor, visited in Taipei where he made rounds on my medical program and advised concerning patient care, teaching and clinical research. His contributions were most stimulating. I am grateful and pleased that he will continue his involvement in academic medical oncology. We need him as a focus of creativity and humanitarianism as we move into the future," commented Jacqueline Whang-Peng, MD, Director, Division of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Cancer remains a major cause of death and illness. Still certain cancers have become highly curable due, among other things, to chemotherapy used either alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or radiotherapy. Dr. Emil Frei III has been a major contributor to this successful application of chemotherapy. This includes particularly the use of chemotherapeutic agents in combination for acute leukemia in children, Hodgkin's Disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The majority of these patients are now cured with combination chemotherapy. More recently, chemotherapy following surgical removal of the primary tumor has increased disease-free survival in patients with the more common tumors including breast cancer, colon cancer and osteosarcoma.
Few events in the Kennedy family go unnoticed, so when Edward Kennedy Jr., was diagnosed with a malignant bone tumor in his leg in the early 1970s, Americans crossed their collective fingers that 12-year-old "Teddy" would be okay.
After part of his right leg was amputated, Kennedy and his family turned to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston to help prevent the cancer's spread. The boy joined a clinical trial that involved infusions of methotrexate, combined with the folic-acid vitamin leucovorin to counter the toxicity of the drug. He endured some 18 treatments under the direction of Emil Frei III, M.D. and a team of talented doctors.
By participating in an early clinical trial for osteosarcoma treatment, he also helped advance research in pediatric oncology. When Ted Kennedy was treated for his tumor, his chance of being cured was in the 10 to 15 percent range. As a result of that trial and others that followed under Frei's watchful eye, that figure is now 60 to 80 percent.
"Biomedical research in the United States is second to none, and Dr. Frei's efforts have enabled patients to reap the fruits of that research," Senator Ted Kennedy said. "Dr. Frei has committed his career to developing life-saving treatments and he is now leveraging his half-century experience to see that other therapies are made available to cancer patients more efficiently and effectively."
Richard N. Seaman, President and CEO of Seaman Corporation stated, "It has been a rare privilege to have known Dr. Emil Frei since 1977 when he directed the treatment protocol for my father who was suffering from advanced lung cancer. Dr. Frei spent a great deal of time explaining the treatment options to my father. A very important part of his approach was the compassionate concern he had for my Father, which translated into his support for my father's courageous hope that one of these treatment protocols would ultimately result in a cure.
My wife, Judy and I continue to stay in touch. We have always been impressed not only with the progress in cancer research and treatment, but also with the culture of compassion at Dana-Farber, which translates into a sincere concern for each individual patient. I know that this culture reflects Dr. Frei's personal philosophy and many decades of clinical leadership at the Institute."
Dr. Frei has been recognized by many as a frontrunner in the field. Beginning in 1972 with The Lasker Award, known as "America's Nobels" and the most coveted award in medical science, Dr. Frei has been publicly acknowledged by over two dozen organizations for his outstanding performance. For example in 2004, New York-Presbyterian Hospital awarded him the Pollin Prize in Pediatric Research and he received the Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in Cancer Research from the American Association for Cancer Research.
Quincy of Quincy Jones Productions had this to say, "As a proud co-fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, I enthusiastically wish this great man, Dr. Frei, success in his current endeavor. This new endeavor will no doubt have the support of many stakeholders in the fight against cancer."
Dr. Frei 's new service platform makes him available for a variety of consultative arrangements including reviewing non-profit grant applications, project grant reviews, Cancer Center Grant Application reviews, assisting with recruitment for executive management and or specific medical/scientific skillsets, and industry collaboration guidance. Pricing for various services are ascertained on a per time basis.
"It doesn't surprise me," said Michael Milken, Chairman, The Prostate Cancer Foundation and also Chairman, FasterCures, The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions, "that my good friend, Tom Frei, has found a new way to keep adding to his estimable legacy in the field of cancer research. Dr. Frei has always shared my vision of accelerating clinical trials and other steps to better treatments. His medical skills, innovative thinking and dedication are legendary, but it is his pervasive optimism about medical progress that has made him such a uniquely effective leader. Congratulations, Tom, on this exciting new chapter in your life!"
Dr. Frei worked at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1965, where he remained as Professor of Medicine, Associate Director for Clinical Research, and Head of the Department of Developmental Therapeutics, until 1972. During this period of his career he served as a consultant for Squibb Institute for Medical Research among others. Dr. Frei served as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Director and Physician-in-Chief from 1973 to 1991, becoming a leading clinical investigator in cancer research. He fulfilled that role actively until 1991. From 1989 Dr. Frei held the Richard and Susan Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. During this period he was recognized by many people and groups for his contributions to the field. These include: American Medical Writers Association Award for Excellence in 1974; Myron Karon Memorial Award in 1975; Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award in 1977; Man of the Year Award (Leukemia Society of Westchester/Hudson Valley, NY) in 1981; David A. Karnofsky Award in 1981; Annual National Award, American Cancer Society in 1981. He was the recipient of: Kettering Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation with Dr. Freireich in 1983; Hamao Umesawa Award in 1985; and the NIH Distinguished Alumni Award jointly with Dr. Freireich in 1990. To continue: Distinguished Alumni Award, St. Margaret of Scotland School, St. Louis, Missouri; Claude Jacquillat Award for Achievement in Clinical Oncology, Paris, France; Icon of Oncology Award, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award In Cancer Research from AACR; Founder and Past President of ASCO Medal, among others.
Dom DiMaggio, past star outfielder of the Boston Red Sox had this to say, "When I think of the field of research in cancer, Dr. Tom Frei's name is at the front as he was one of the pioneers in setting forth the first light of hope in helping to defeat Leukemia -- especially in children. He is greatly revered in his field, all over the world and is admired for the way he has been able to handle his endeavors. He is still making a great impact, today, through this newest endeavor. Had Tom Frei turned his talents to the great game of baseball, he is the type of person I would love to have had on my team because of his dedication to his chosen profession and to his task at hand."
The creation of this new consulting arm will improve the facilitation of research, development of oncology drugs and bring together a critical mass of oncology expertise to help develop new therapies. Through this effort, Dr. Frei is creating a cross-cutting Oncology Program that will facilitate synergistic expert consultation, provide a forum to discuss and develop strategy, and serve as a focal point for interaction and collaboration within the Oncology profession.
Emil Frei III, M.D. is a globally known and highly revered pioneer in cancer research. During his career he produced a remarkable list of 450+ papers, either authored and/or co-authored. Dr. Frei, with Drs. Holland and Freireich, is credited with achieving the first cures of acute lymphocytic leukemia and pioneering the use of combination chemotherapy (using multiple chemotherapeutic drugs simultaneously) to treat a wide variety of cancers. The chemotherapeutic principles he elucidated now form the foundation for many modern cancer treatments. Dr. Frei has provided leadership in the education of over 200 clinical oncologists, many of whom now hold leadership positions and have made major contributions. In addition, he influenced the development of three major institutions -- NCI, MD Anderson, and Dana-Farber.
Cancer Pioneer Stephen Brock / Dorie Frei (702) 920-8557 www.cancerpioneer.com