Evelyn Anne Meta Boesen

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 14 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e725
  1. Joan Bruce

Evelyn Anne Meta Boesen qualified from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine. After a period of training she went to Presbyterian St Luke’s Hospital in Chicago and subsequently returned to the Royal Free Hospital, working with Mr Radley-Smith in the neurosurgical treatment of cancer. She then joined David Galton and Eve Wiltshaw in the department of clinical research at the Royal Marsden Hospital. Over the next 10 years the three of them laid the foundations for modern cancer chemotherapy. At this time, together with the chemist Walter Davis, she wrote the textbook Cytotoxic Drugs in the Treatment of Cancer.1 The textbook was widely circulated and translated. In 1974 she returned to the Royal Free Hospital and with her usual energy and dedication set up the department of oncology. Her gentle and loving nature enabled all her patients to regard her as their friend. Towards the end of her career she sought the funds to create the Ronald Raven chair of oncology at the Royal Free Hospital. She retired in 1993 to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in Oxfordshire and researched into the nature of parish charities over the centuries. From the onset of her Alzheimer’s disease her husband nursed her imaginatively and devotedly, so that she could remain in her own home to the end, as she had wished. She is survived by her husband, Leon Cobb.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e725


  • Former consultant oncologist Royal Free Hospital, London (b1929; q London 1953; MD), d 5 December 2011.


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