Nov. 16, 2000
Vol. 20 No. 5

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    John Ultmann, cancer expert, dies at age 75

    An internationally recognized expert on the diagnosis, staging and treatment of Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as on the development of cancer chemotherapy, John Ultmann, Professor in Medicine and a former director of the University Cancer Research Center, died at his Hyde Park home Monday, Oct. 23, from complications of lymphoma. He was 75.

    Ultmann was a pioneer in efforts to distinguish between the many different types of lymphomas. He was particularly well known for his work on precise staging of Hodgkin’s disease and the uses of staging as a guide for treatment.

    He also was influential in the growth and evolution of the field of medical oncology, serving as chairman of the board of scientific counselors for the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Treatment from 1976 to 1980; as president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology from 1981 to 1982; as president and chairman of the board of the Association of American Cancer Institutes from 1984 to 1986; and as chairman of the National Coalition for Cancer Research from 1985 to 1990.

    “John Ultmann was an early proponent of the multi-disciplinary approach to treatment of lymphoma, which is associated with a tremendous improvement in the curability of the disease,” said Samuel Hellman, the A.N. Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor in Radiation and Cellular Oncology.

    “He was known within the University as an outstanding teacher who trained many of the current leaders in the field, as a key player in assembling the world-renowned medical oncology group here and as a compassionate physician who took excellent care of his patients until just a few weeks before his own death,” said Hellman.

    A memorial service for Ultmann will be held at the University at a later date.