Revealing the concealed: A tribute to Donald L. Morton, MD

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Clinical & experimental metastasis


Donald L. Morton, MD, epitomized one of America's dream scenarios: a person evolving from the humblest of origins to become an international celebrity in his profession, leading the world in the discipline of surgical oncology. His pioneering accomplishments in various roles have been well documented. Scientists, clinicians, students, and patients benefited from his contributions to the management of malignant diseases, particularly melanoma. His many attributes in pursuing the goal to cure malignant diseases are well known. Browsing the scientific literature reveals an almost unmatched publication record and continuous National Institutes of Health funding. He revealed dozens of original concealed ideas, not least of which is the tumor-draining regional lymph node, now called the sentinel lymph node (SLN). When others gave up on the original promise of immunotherapy, he saw the future, the clinical promise which has lately materialized in the control of previously untreatable malignancies. He regarded the fellowship-training of more than 100 surgical oncologists as one of his biggest achievements. In this article, we celebrate the human side of a man with creative courage and far-reaching insight.

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ePub ahead of print