In Memoriam

John Fitzpatrick: An Appreciation WILLIAM WATSON,a MARK LAWLERb a

Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; bCentre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Editorial Note Patrick G. Johnston, Co-Editor, European Edition, The Oncologist

The passing of Professor John Fitzpatrick represented the loss the primary purpose of identifying the clinical unmet need [2] of a luminary of Irish medicine, a man with a global reputation and how it would impact on the patient’s outcome. His in urology research and a world leader in the delivery of surgical research on the discovery and validation of new biomarkers prostate cancer care. A graduate of helped inform appropriate treatments University College Dublin (UCD), John for early stage disease, while an inmoved to London to specialize in urology creased understanding of the basic under the tutelage of the eminent cellular mechanisms of treatment resurgeon John Wickham. He spent a forsistance fueled the development of new mative period at Mainz in Germany, treatment options for prostate cancer perfecting his skills in the then newly patients [3]. developed discipline of minimally inAs Editor-in-Chief of the BJU Internavasive surgery. He returned to Dublin, tional (BJU Int), he helped champion the initially to Trinity College Dublin, and use of magnetic resonance imaging in then in 1986 became Professor of Surguiding targeted therapy in this disease. gery at UCD and consultant urologist at He was also among the first advocates in the Mater Misericordiae Dei Hospital, Britain and Ireland of total surgical removal where he spent the rest of his academic of the prostate and used the nerve-sparing and medical career. He led the develtechnique developed by Patrick Walsh at opment of the discipline of urology in John’s Hopkins to cure men with prostate Ireland, and many fine urologists, both cancer while preserving their sexual function. in Ireland and globally, benefitted from John received numerous international his guiding mentorship. accolades, including election to MemberJohn was one of the early advocates ship of the American Association of Genitoof the use of prostate specific antigen as urinary Surgeons, a distinction rarely a biomarker for early detection of the conferred on non-Americans. He served John Fitzpatrick disease but always pushed for improved as President of the British Association of tools that would inform the clinical decision-making process Urological Surgeons and was a visiting Professor in more than [1]. His leadership in prostate cancer care and research has 100 international institutions on the five continents, reflecting undoubtedly led to significant strides forward in the manhis global reputation. He was a born teacher and frequent agement of this common disease. At a local level, John was contributor to the educational activities of the Society for instrumental in establishing the Irish Prostate Cancer Research Translational Oncology. His dedication to research and its Consortium, emphasizing his vision of the need for multidispromotion led to him becoming Head of Research at the Irish ciplinary research to tackle this complex diseases. Cancer Society (ICS), following his retirement as Professor of His keen interest and promotion of research straddled the Surgery at UCD. His regrettably short period at the ICS coincided continuum from basic science to translational research, with with a step change in the Society’s support for research in Ireland,

Correspondence: Mark Lawler, Ph.D., The Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT9 7AB, United Kingdom. Telephone: 44-0-289097-2931; E-Mail: [email protected] Received December 5, 2014; accepted for publication December 15, 2014. ©AlphaMed Press 1083-7159/2015/$20.00/0

The Oncologist 2015;20:e1–e2

©AlphaMed Press 2015

Downloaded from by guest on April 30, 2015

This month’s edition of The Oncologist carries our tribute to a giant of European urology, Professor John Fitzpatrick, who sadly passed away during 2014. John was a global leader who championed both his specialty of urology and also the critical role of research in cancer care. His dedication to translating that knowledge and inquisitive nature to his students and junior staff through his mentorship role, both nationally and internationally, has resulted in a generation of his prodigies graduating to leadership roles in significant urology and cancer research programs throughout the world.


as characterized by the development of Collaborative Cancer Research Centres, an initiative that had John’s personality stamped all over it. He was in the process of developing a national cancer research strategy for Ireland when his untimely death robbed us of one of the world’s foremost urologists and a redoubtable champion of research. M.L. Note: I was fortunate to collaborate with John and learn from his unrivaled experience in cancer care and

research. The accompanying interview took place during our partner organization’s the European School of Oncology (ESO) Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Clinical Oncology at Viareggio in Italy, a conference where both John and I were speaking. It was strange to deliver the opening lecture at this year’s ESO conference, Molecular Diagnostics, Genomics and Epigenetics in Clinical Oncology, in Rome without my colleague and friend.

REFERENCES 1. Lundon DJ, Kelly BD, Foley R et al. Prostate cancer risk assessment tools in an unscreened population. World J Urol 2014 [E-pub ahead of print].

2. Oon SF, Pennington SR, Fitzpatrick JM et al. Biomarker research in prostate cancer—towards utility, not futility. Nat Rev Urol 2011;8:131– 138.

3. Fitzpatrick JM, Bellmunt J, Fizazi K et al. Optimal management of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: highlights from a European Expert Consensus Panel. Eur J Cancer 2014;50:1617–1627.

Downloaded from by guest on April 30, 2015

OTncologist he

©AlphaMed Press 2015



This article cites 2 articles, 0 of which you can access for free at:

Downloaded from by guest on April 30, 2015

John Fitzpatrick: An Appreciation William Watson and Mark Lawler The Oncologist 2015, 20:e1-e2. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2015-0005

Downloaded from by guest on April 30, 2015

The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on the World Wide Web at:

John Fitzpatrick: an appreciation.

John Fitzpatrick: an appreciation. - PDF Download Free
625KB Sizes 0 Downloads 9 Views