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Obituaries

Martin Gore: early champion of immunotherapy for cancer

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l552 (Published 05 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l552
  1. Chris Mahony
  1. London, UK
  1. chris.mahony{at}cjmedia.biz

Around 15 years ago, Martin Gore, who has died from organ failure after a yellow fever vaccination, emerged from a long clinic for patients with advanced melanoma cancer and voiced his frustrations to a junior colleague. After 20 years of such clinics, he was disheartened to be largely prescribing the same drugs as when he was a registrar.

Within a few years, clinical trials led by his unit at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation and its partner, the Institute of Cancer Research (where he was professor of cancer medicine), had confirmed the efficacy and safety of new immunotherapy treatments that were extending survival times and even curing some patients.

In 2016, when he received a CBE, he spoke of cancer medicine being “on the cusp of a new era of ever more effective therapies.” He admitted then to “some dark days when improvements in treatment for some appeared unobtainable.”

Unusually, Gore was regarded as an international authority on the treatment of three cancers—melanoma, ovarian, and …

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