Giants of Cancer Care® Program Inductees


Emil J. Freireich, MD, DSc

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Emil J. Freireich, MD, is the Ruth Harriet Ainsworth Chair in the Department of Developmental Therapeutics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Collaborated with James Holland, MD, and Emil Frei III, MD, to develop combination chemotherapy and organize the first cooperative group
  • Developed the first “curative therapy” for metastatic cancer in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: POMP—prednisone, oncovin, methotrexate, purinethol (6-MP)
  • First to perform leukocyte transfusion and to demonstrate engrafting of peripheral blood stem cells, providing allogeneic bone marrow grafts
  • Developed allogeneic platelet transfusion and treatment strategies for infectious complications
  • Patented the first continuous-flow blood cell separator, which is used in most pheresis centers
  • Continues to work in the Department of Leukemia, where he cares for patients with leukemia and supervises research protocols for treatment of this disease
  • In his joint appointment with the Department of Laboratory Medicine, collaborates on an important transfusion study
  • Obtained one of the first formal training program grants in medical oncology at MD Anderson, and serves on the Division of Cancer Medicine Committee for Medical Oncology Fellow Training
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