July 15, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 19

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    [nicholas vogelzang]
    Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang

    Vogelzang named first Fred C. Buffett Professor, begins cancer center directorship

    By John Easton
    Medical Center Public Affairs

    Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang has been named the first Fred C. Buffett Professor in Medicine and became the third Director of the University Cancer Research Center, effective July 1. He succeeds Dr. Richard Schilsky, who has been the Director since 1991. Schilsky is stepping down to become the Associate Dean for Clinical Research in the Division of the Biological Sciences.

    The University Cancer Research Center is one of the few programs in the country with National–Cancer–Institute-sponsored programs for Phase-I, Phase-II and Phase-III clinical trials of anticancer drugs. More than 130 faculty members, clinicians and scientists from 15 University departments are engaged in cancer research, and each year, more than 1,700 patients enroll in one or more of the nearly 400 different clinical trials of novel cancer therapies underway at the Cancer Center. It is the only Illinois cancer program that was ranked in the top 10 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

    Vogelzang is a nationally recognized authority on the medical treatment of cancers of the kidney, prostate and testes; the development and testing of new anticancer drugs; the treatment of cancer fatigue; and the ways to enhance the immune system’s response to the disease. A cancer survivor himself, he is a fervent patient advocate and was the founder of the Kidney Cancer Association.

    Vogelzang also serves as an advisor to several cancer wellness centers. Besides editing two textbooks, one on prostate cancer and one on genitourinary cancers, he has served as author or co-author of 32 review articles, 40 book chapters, more than 150 research papers, more than 200 presentations or invited lectures, and more than 250 published abstracts or letters. He currently serves on the board of directors, the scientific advisory committee and the prostate cancer committee for the American Cancer Society and has served as president for the Illinois Division of the ACS.

    Vogelzang also has served on the board of directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology and on several National Cancer Institute committees. Currently the associate editor of the journal Cancer, Vogelzang serves on the editorial boards of several other cancer-research journals.

    A graduate of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., and the University of Illinois School of Medicine, Vogelzang completed his residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1978. He came to Chicago as an Assistant Professor in 1982 and was promoted to Professor in 1993.

    The Buffett professorship recognizes the recent gift from the Rebecca Susan Buffett Foundation in honor of her father, the late Fred Buffett. A passionate marathon runner, Buffett also fought a marathon battle––with Vogelzang’s guidance––against kidney cancer, which caused his death in November 1997.

    After having two operations to remove tumors, Buffett underwent chemotherapy, participated in a clinical trial of an immune-based therapy and finally enrolled in a highly experimental trial of new anticancer medications. “He fought cancer just as he ran,” said his son, William Buffett, “head on.”