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First St. Jude director and CEO honored as Giant of Cancer Care

Memphis, Tennessee, May 10, 2019

Dr. Donald Pinkel

Dr. Donald Pinkel

Former St. Jude CEO and director Donald Pinkel, MD, has been inducted into the OncLive 2019 Class of Giants of Cancer Care. Pinkel is being recognized for his contributions to pediatric oncology, which include propelling multi-drug therapy for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“Donald Pinkel introduced the word ‘cure’ to cancer,” said James R. Downing, MD, president and CEO of St. Jude. “It was his bravery and unflinching commitment to move forward that changed everything.”

The Giants of Cancer Care recognition program honors healthcare professionals advancing the field of oncology through research and clinical practice.

Nominated by the oncology community, finalists in 15 categories are selected by an advisory board and then voted on by a committee of  physicians in the oncology space. Awardees will be celebrated at a reception Thursday, May 30, in Chicago.

Read about Dr. Pinkel’s legacy at St. Jude and beyond.

Learn about OncLive’s Giants of Cancer Care.


Dr. Pinkel’s legacy, from first CEO and director to the first successful cancer treatment that is still used today.

Donald Pinkel, MD, named the first CEO and director of St. Jude, left a legacy of hope to patients suffering from cancer. His therapy, called Total Therapy, was revolutionary at the time, but was the first treatment to establish a cure rate for children. Total Therapy is being used today, and inspires us to innovate and never stop fighting until no child dies in the dawn of life.


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