Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
Last Modified: October 8, 2002
The Gold Medal is the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's (ASTRO) highest honor, bestowed upon revered radiation oncologists, biologists,and physicists. The award is given in recognition of distinguished accomplishments and contributions in the field of radiation oncology. The 2002 recipients are Steven A. Leibel, M.D., Victor A. Marcial, M.D., and Marvin Rotman, M.D.
Dr. Zvi Fuks presented the Gold Medal to his friend and colleague, Dr. Steven A. Leibel. Dr. Leibel served as ASTRO president in 1995 and is regarded as one of its most distinguished physicians. He is currently the chairman of the department of radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Leibel studied medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, where he remained for his residency in radiation oncology. He served as a radiotherapist in the Navy and then joined the staff at Johns Hopkins University, where he co-collaborated a series of studies using radiolabeled antibodies in the treatment of hepatic and pulmonary tumors.
Dr. Leibel has recently co-authored the highly regarded Textbook of Radiation Oncology with his friend and mentor, Dr. Theodore Phillips. He has conducted extensive research in the use of stereotactic interstitial brachytherapy in the management of tumors of the central nervous system and experiments on dose escalation with 3D-CRT and IMRT in the local control of prostate cancer, which are recognized as major contributions to the field of radiation oncology.
Dr. Luther Brady presented the tribute to Dr. Victor A. Marcial. Dr. Marcial is a native of Puerto Rico where he currently is a professor and chairman of the radiation therapy division of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and University Hospital. He played a significant role in the development of radiation oncology and the multidisciplinary patient care program in Puerto Rico. He established the value of the Papanicolaou smear in the early detection of cervical cancer within the community setting and initiated the Islandwide Cervical Cancer Control Program in Puerto Rico, which resulted in a 90% reduction in mortality from cervical cancer.
Dr. Marcial served as President of the Puerto Rico Division of the American Cancer Society and as a member of the National Board of the American Cancer Society. It was at this time that he helped establish the acceptance of lumpectomy and radiation therapy as an effective and viable alternative to modified radical mastectomy in breast cancer.
Dr. Marcial was an early member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, where he was instrumental in developing protocols for head and neck cancer. As an early member of the Gyenecologic Oncology Group, he had a significant impact on the development of protocols for the treatment of various gyenecologic cancers. Dr. Brady described his impact on radiation oncology in Puerto Rico as "immeasurable."
Dr. Seymour Levitt presented the third Gold Medal Award of 2002 to Dr. Marvin Z. Rotman. Dr. Rotman is the Chairman of radiation oncology at Long Island College Hospital. He previously served as the Chairman and Professor of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the State University Health Science Center (SUNY downstate) in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Levitt described him as a "radiation oncologist's radiation oncologist." Dr. Rotman attended the Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, completed an internship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and a residency in radiology at the Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York.
Dr. Rotman is considered the pioneer in the use of concentrated continuous infusion chemotherapy in conjunction with radiation therapy. He was responsible for the development of the appropriate use of brachytherapy opthalmic applicators for the treatment of choroidal melanomas and participated in the development of accurate dosimetry systems for eye plaques, leading to better treatments. He also pioneered the use of the now accepted standard treatment for ocular melanomas, I-125, which reduces eye complications and offers protection to the surgeon.
Dr. Rotman is one of only three radiation oncologists who have served as principal investigators for the Gynecological Oncology Group and his work in this area have been of major importance. His protocol demonstrating the need for post-hysterectomy irradiation in cervical cancer has been pivitol in the field.
In addition to his academic and scientific achievements, Dr. Rotman has been involved in the art and music community, participating on the Boards of The Young Concert Artists Society and the Sante Fe Opera.
The three Gold Medal awardees have made great contributions to the field of radiation oncology and were recognized by their peers at a ceremony held at on Tuesday October 8th at the 44th annual ASTRO meeting.
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