publication date: Sep. 7, 2018


Radiation oncology pioneer Moody Wharam, dies at 77

Moody Wharam Jr., professor emeritus of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences, and former Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, died Aug. 10 at age 77.

Wharam specialized in the treatment of children with cancer and, in his more than 40 years at Johns Hopkins, ushered in many firsts. From 1980 to 1990, he served as the first chairman of the radiation oncology committee of the Pediatric Oncology Group, an NCI collaborative that studied childhood cancers.

Wharam had the unique distinction of being named to four study groups appointed by NCI to investigate common childhood cancers. His work led to dramatic increases in pediatric cancer survival rates.

“For literally thousands of our own pediatric oncology patients and in nationally and internationally impactful clinical trials in childhood cancers, Moody Wharam served for decades as a rock of unswerving clinical excellence, caring and progress,” said Curt Civin, associate dean for research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and former director of pediatric oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Wharam led research to scale back treatment for many childhood cancers to prevent toxicities that caused second cancers decades later, damage to growing bones and organs, and impairments to learning and other cognitive brain functions. He co-led a groundbreaking study of treatment reduction in Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which led to refinements in therapy. He also developed the standard of care for rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood cancer of the connective tissue that attaches muscles to bones, combining chemotherapy and radiation therapy, a treatment so effective it remains the standard today.

In the early … Continue reading Radiation oncology pioneer Moody Wharam, dies at 77

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