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Melanoma Research Program at John Wayne Cancer Institute Named After Dr. Donald L. Morton

Dr. Morton dedicated his life to improving the lives of patients with melanoma. He passed away at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Jan. 10.

Dr. Donald L. Morton. Credit: St. John's Health Center, Santa Monica.
Dr. Donald L. Morton. Credit: St. John's Health Center, Santa Monica.

The following release was provided by the John Wayne Cancer Institute at St. John's Health Center.

The Board of Directors of the John Wayne Cancer Institute has named the Donald L. Morton, MD, Melanoma Research Program at JWCI.

Dr. Morton passed away at the age of 79 from heart failure on Friday, Jan. 10, at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica,

Dr. Morton dedicated his professional life to improving the lives of patients with melanoma. In this effort he was more successful than perhaps anyone in history, and his contributions will continue to benefit patients for generations.

Among Dr. Morton’s achievements was the discovery of the Sentinel Node Biopsy technique, advances in immunotherapy for cancer and the training of many current leaders in melanoma research and surgical oncology throughout the United States and the world. Dr. Morton was also one of the founders of JWCI and, together with the Wayne Family, created an institution that has extended the breakthroughs Dr. Morton brought to melanoma to patients with breast, colon, prostate and other cancers.

With the naming of the Donald L. Morton, MD, Melanoma Research Program at JWCI, the Board is honoring the memory of one of JWCI’s amazing founders. This program will advance the values of Dr. Morton so that the work he started may be preserved and extended into the future. The program will focus on the issues that were most important to Dr. Morton throughout his career, including the education of young surgeon-scientists, the use and improvement of surgery as a treatment for cancer, and immunotherapy.

While JWCI knows it will never be able to repay the enormous debt owed to such a great individual, it hopes that by carrying on the work he held so dearly, the Institute can honor his memory and preserve his legacy.

To learn more about supporting the life-saving cancer research at the Donald L. Morton, MD, Melanoma Research Program, please call the John Wayne Cancer Institute Development Office at (310) 315-6111.

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