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$1 million raised in honor of IU physician scientist who cured testicular cancer on 40th anniversary of milestone

  • Sept. 29, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – Gifts totaling $1 million in honor of the 40th anniversary of the cure for testicular cancer were announced Saturday at a celebration for the physician scientist who developed the treatment.

Family, friends, colleagues, and men grateful for their lives gathered Saturday evening at the Indianapolis Museum of Art to honor Lawrence Einhorn, M.D., Indiana University Distinguished Professor and Livestrong Foundation Professor of Oncology at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

It was in September 1974 when Dr. Einhorn tested the platinum-based drug Cisplatin with two additional drugs that were effective in killing testis cancer cells. The combination became the cure for this once deadly disease. There are now more than 300,000 survivors today because of Dr. Einhorn’s research.  

“When Dr. Einhorn began his work four decades ago, there was no term ‘cancer survivor,” Patrick J. Loehrer, M.D., director of the IU Simon Cancer Center, said. “Now thanks to his research and leadership, 95 percent of the most common cancer in young men is curable. Today, the IU Simon Cancer Center is uniquely positioned to develop a program of significant magnitude for all cancer survivors.”

The new survivorship research program will use gene sequencing technology. Dr. Einhorn’s personalized medicine approach will allow a treatment team to evaluate the risks for adverse side effects before therapy and map a treatment plan that reduces toxicity and anticipates and manages unavoidable complications throughout each patient’s lifetime.

A total of $700,000, which will launch the program, has been contributed by multiple grateful patients and friends of Dr. Einhorn. This includes a leadership gift of more than $500,000 from A. Farhad Moshiri of Monaco. Mr. Moshiri had previously created the Lawrence H. Einhorn Chair with a $2 million gift. The Einhorn Chair will be held by the survivorship program director.

The children of Sidney and Lois Eskenazi also have pledged $300,000 to honor Dr. Einhorn and celebrate their parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. The gift from Sandy, Dori (Meyers), and David Eskenazi and their spouses establishes the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the IU School of Medicine.

“IU is home to unique expertise in personalized medicine that focuses on genetic risks for side effects, and blending genetics data for both tumor and patient will be the ‘platinum’ standard of future treatment and lifelong health management for survivors,” Dr. Loehrer added.

Dr. Lawrence Einhorn

Dr. Lawrence Einhorn

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Michael Schug