The Apffel Memorial Lecture
The Apffel Memorial Lecture is endowed by the Apffel family and is given each year by an outstanding Cancer Researcher
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:
Daniel Louvard: Molecular Determinants of Intestinal Differentiation and
Carol W. Greider: Telomerase and the Consequences of Telomere
H. Robert Horvitz, David H Koch: Genetic control of programmed cell death
in C. elegans
Gail Sonenshein: Controlling Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition of
Charles Sawyers: Kinase inhibitors in Cancer Treatment.
James Allison: Manipulation of inhibitory costimulation in Tumor
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
Phillip A. Sharp: Biology of RNA, Splicing and Interference
Arnold Levine: The Regulation of p53 Mediated Apoptosis
Lance Liotta: Beyond Genomics To Proteomics: Technology for the next
revolution in molecular medicine
Ira Pastan: Recombinant Toxin Therapy of Cancer
Stephen B. Baylin: Gene Inactivation and Promoter Region Methylation in
Robert A. Weinberg: Control of the Cell Cycle
Judah Folkman: Endogenous Inhibitors of Angiogenesis
Karen H. Antman: Advances in the Understanding and Treatment of Breast
Joan Massague: TGF-beta Receptors and Antiprolifierative Actions
Jeffrey Schlom: Recombinant Cancer Vaccines
Emil Frei, III: Selectivity for Chemotherapy
Stanley E. Order: Cancer Therapy with Radiolabeled Antibodies
Ronald B. Herberman: Natural Killer Cells and Their Potential for the
Treatment of Cancer
Robert C. Gallo: Retroviruses and Cancer
Paul A. Marks: Induced Differentiation of Transformed Cells
Michael Sporn: Transforming Growth Factors: Action in Normal and
G. Barry Pierce: Epigenetic Mechanisms of Cancer