Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD
THE 2018 JACOBSON INNOVATION AWARD of the American College of Surgeons was recently presented to Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Chief of the Surgery Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as well as Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The Jacobson Innovation Award honors living surgeons who have been innovators of a new development or technique in any field of surgery.
Dr. Rosenberg was honored with this international surgical award for his role in the development of immunotherapy and gene therapy. When Dr. Rosenberg began his work in immunotherapy in the late 1970s, very little was known about T-lymphocyte function in cancer, and there was little convincing evidence that any immune reaction existed in patients against their cancers. Despite this dearth of knowledge about the disease, Dr. Rosenberg developed the first effective immunotherapies for selected patients with advanced cancer and was the first to successfully insert foreign genes into humans. His studies of cell-transfer immunotherapy resulted in durable complete remissions in patients with metastatic melanoma. Additionally, his studies of the adoptive transfer of genetically modified lymphocytes resulted in the regression of metastatic cancer in patients with melanoma, sarcomas, and lymphomas.
In his current role at the NCI, Dr. Rosenberg oversees the surgery branch’s extensive clinical program aimed at translating scientific advances into effective immunotherapies for patients with cancer. Dr. Rosenberg’s current research is focused on defining the host immune response of patients to their cancers. ■