The Apffel Memorial Lecture is endowed by the Apffel family and is given each year by an outstanding Cancer Researcher to honor

Charles A. Apffel, M.D. (1910-1985)

Born in Alsace, France, Charles Apffel received his medical degree, with specialization in pediatrics, from the University of Strasbourg in 1945.He practiced medicine in France for two years following World War II and then moved to Tangiers, where he worked among the native nomadic tribes in various settings.

While in Morocco, Charles Apffel saw that his life work would be in cancer research, and that the best opportunities for such work were in the USA. Arriving in America in 1958, he worked for two years with Freddie Homburger, M.D. at the Bioresearch Institute in Cambridge. Then he moved to the Pondville Hospital, a State institution established for the care of cancer patients and for cancer research.

Dr. Apffel remained at Pondville for twenty-one years, serving as Chief of the Ira T. Nathanson Research Laboratories from 1973 until this cancer hospital closed in 1981. His major areas of activity were tumor immunology, non-immunological defenses against cancer, and factors associated with tumor growth and regression. He continued his work at the New England Deaconess Hospital until his death in 1985.

His interests and knowledge were encyclopedic, especially concerning host defenses. But his interests extended far beyond medicine, to history, archaeology, architecture, literature, wine, and much else. He was a witty and charming conversationalist, an innovator, and a scientist always seeking new approaches to important unsolved problems.

In the final phase of his life, stricken with colon cancer, he underwent several partial hepatic resections to remove metastatic lesions. Recuperating from his last operation, he was seen working hard on a grant application to carry his studies forward. During his last few months, he developed bone disease. He then insisted that his physicians use him as an experimental subject for some of the investigational treatments that he had helped to develop.

Charles Apffel contributed to the science of cancer, and inspired his colleagues to continue his work. The Charles Alfred Apffel Memorial Lecture on Frontiers in Cancer Research honors his memory, and his vision of a comprehensive cancer biology that will lead to the understanding and control of this ancient and ubiquitous disorder that lies at the very root of life.

The following Apffel memorial lectures have been presented:

1985-86 G. Barry Pierce: Epigenetic Mechanisms of Cancer

1986-87 Michael Sporn: Transforming Growth Factors: Action in Normal and Malignant Cells

1987-88 Paul A. Marks: Induced Differentiation of Transformed Cells

1988-89 Robert C. Gallo: Retroviruses and Cancer

1989-90 Ronald B. Herberman: Natural Killer Cells and Their Potential for the Treatment of Cancer

1990-91 Stanley E. Order: Cancer Therapy with Radiolabeled Antibodies

1991-92 Emil Frei, III: Selectivity for Chemotherapy

1992-93 Jeffrey Schlom: Recombinant Cancer Vaccines

1993-94 Joan Massague: TGF-beta Receptors and Antiprolifierative Actions

1994-95 Karen H. Antman: Advances in the Understanding and Treatment of Breast Cancer

1995-96 Judah Folkman: Endogenous Inhibitors of Angiogenesis

1996-97 Robert A. Weinberg: Control of the Cell Cycle

1997-98 Stephen B. Baylin: Gene Inactivation and Promoter Region Methylation in Cancer

1998-99 Ira Pastan: Recombinant Toxin Therapy of Cancer

1999-2000 Lance Liotta: Beyond Genomics To Proteomics: Technology for the next revolution in molecular medicine

2000-2001 Arnold Levine: The Regulation of p53 Mediated Apoptosis

2001-2002 Phillip A. Sharp: Biology of RNA, Splicing and Interference

2002-2003 Michael B. Sporn: New Synthetic Triterpenoids Modulate Signaling by TGF-beta and Inflammatory Cytokines: Basic Mechanisms and Practical Considerations for Prevention and Treatment of Disease

2003-2004 James Allison: Manipulation of inhibitory costimulation in Tumor Immunotherapy

2004-2005 Charles Sawyers: Kinase inhibitors in Cancer Treatment.

2005-2006 Gail Sonenshein: Controlling Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition of Cancer Cells.