It is an honor to present our readers with this special commemorative issue prepared in tribute to the life and career of Dr. Martin D. Abeloff, co-Editor-in-Chief of ONCOLOGY from 1999 to 2007.
“Marty was one of the most decent and thoughtful leaders in our field,” said a colleague. This was just one of countless heartfelt sentiments made by Dr. Abeloff’s colleagues and friends on learning of his death from leukemia this past September 2007.
The scope of loss posed by his untimely death is difficult to comprehend. It is inspirational, however, to experience through the recollections of those who knew him best how profoundly Marty’s life impacted so many as physician, teacher, and mentor. It is these sentiments and more that we hope to share throughout the pages of this special issue.
Compiling this commemorative edition to honor Dr. Abeloff was a bittersweet though positive and rewarding experience, and the word “privilege” repeatedly comes to mind. How very fortunate we were to know and work with Marty on ONCOLOGY. It is certainly our privilege to honor his memory.
The reviews and essays herein comprise an important desk reference on breast cancer and discuss milestones and turning points in the treatment of early and advanced disease; the psychosocial effect of the disease on patients; and what’s on the horizon in regard to breast cancer prevention. Importantly, however, it is our hope that this commemorative issue will provide readers with key insights into the compelling cancer research, important clinical advances, and tremendous accomplishments that occurred over the past 35 years during Marty’s career, and the important role he played in so many of these critical changes in patient care.
We thank the contributors and advisors who so graciously assisted in the development of this comprehensive resource and so willingly shared their unique and personal reflections on this remarkable man. To Dr. Abeloff’s family, and to his many colleagues and friends at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, and in the oncology community, we extend our deepest regret and sympathy.
With Marty’s inspiring career in mind, we also look forward to continuing ONCOLOGY’s mission—presenting practical clinical information for oncologists—confident that so much of the work he pioneered will lead to further improvements in care for patients with cancer.
—Cara H. Glynn