Dr. Judah Folkman
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BOSTON (AP) - Dr. Judah Folkman, a groundbreaking researcher who worked to cut off cancer from its blood supply, curing the disease in mice and giving humans hope for a cure, has died. He was 74.

Folkman died late Monday in Denver, said Elizabeth Andrews, a spokeswoman at Children's Hospital Boston, where Folkman was director of the vascular biology program.

"I think he was one of the most important investigators of our time," said Dr. David Nathan, president emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. "Losing him is like watching a Roman candle go out."

Robert Cooke, author of the book "Dr. Folkman's War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer" said he died of an apparent heart attack.

Folkman's research has led to 10 cancer drugs currently on the market that are helping more than 1.2 million patients worldwide. Dozens of other drugs based on his ideas are being developed.

Folkman championed the idea that cancer needs a growing network of blood vessels to survive, and that blocking that process, called angiogenesis, will stop or even eliminate tumors. He was able to cure mice of the disease, and his work opened the door to a whole new line of treatment that has slowed the growth of cancer in humans.

"Is it a cure? No, but his idea is to drive tumors into dormancy and for that, it works," Cooke said. "It's been turned into a disease like diabetes that can be managed."

Angiogenesis inhibitors also have shown success in treating not just cancer but other diseases, including arthritis and diseases of the eye, heart and skin.

"Dr. Judah Folkman is recognized by all as the father of angiogenesis research," Dr. John Niederhuber, director of the National Cancer Institute, said in a statement. "He never wavered in his passionate belief that the growth of new blood vessels was a critical factor to the process of cancer development and progression. ... His contributions are legendary."

Folkman's research dates to the 1960s when he worked at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., as a lieutenant in the Navy. He and a colleague, working with rabbits and mice, noticed that cancerous tumors stopped growing when removed from a body, then started growing again when implanted in another animal.

"That was the clue that set him off," Cooke said. "He reasoned there was some barrier that stopped those tumors from growing. And after years of banging his head against the wall he realized that it was the blood supply."

In the 1990s, Folkman's lab discovered two natural compounds, endostatin and angiostatin, that appeared to be cancer fighters, shrinking and eliminating tumors in mice.

Folkman carried on his work in relative anonymity until a May 1998 front-page story in the Sunday New York Times, in which Dr. James Watson, the Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the shape of DNA, was quoted as saying, "Judah is going to cure cancer in two years."

"That set off a fuss, and many of his colleagues were all upset because it was too radical an idea, they said it can't be all that simple," Cooke said.

Folkman himself played down Watson's proclamation.

"I don't think angiogenesis inhibitors will be the cure for cancer. But I do think that they will make cancer more survivable and controllable, especially in conjunction with radiation, chemotherapy, and other treatments," he wrote in Scientific American in October 1998.

His discoveries prompted pharmaceutical companies to pursue research in the area, and some drugs have succeeded in extending the lives of patients with advanced cancer.

"The work that he has done is now the basis of billions of dollars of research around the world," said Dr. Jim Mandell, the president and CEO of Children's Hospital Boston, who has known Folkman for three decades.

Folkman's peers remembered him Tuesday as a doctor with an insatiable thirst for knowledge who never forgot that patients came first. He spent hours a day taking telephone calls and answering beeps from patients and fellow researchers all over the world, Cooke said.

"Not only was he a brilliant scientist, he's always been the most amazingly kind and generous man," Mandell said.

Moses Judah Folkman was born in Cleveland, the son of a rabbi. His father made frequent trips to the hospital to comfort the ill, and it was during these trips that Folkman decided he wanted to become a doctor.

He earned a medical degree in 1957 from Harvard Medical School, where he helped design one of the first implantable heart pacemakers.

While in the Navy, Folkman also played a pivotal role in the development of devices placed under the skin that slowly time-released drugs, often used these days for birth control.

Survivors include his wife, Paula, daughters Laura and Marjorie, and one grandchild. Memorial and funeral arrangements are pending.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press


Published in Foster's Daily Democrat on Jan. 15, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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117 entries
January 29, 2009
I knew Judah as a colleague who was interested in angiogenesis and its consequent microcirculation in all tissues. I was just a one of the many ordinary laboratory scientists he knew who happened to work in bone microcirculation. His fame did not diminish the respect with which he treated me. He recognized that as a non-clinician I was more interested in the science of vascular physiology and that is what we talked about. And his understanding of the science was well beyond the norm for clinicians. His inherent kindness permeated through all our conversations. It was easy to see how such a mench could be loved by his patients. I was shocked and deeply saddened by his loss.
Prof. Howard Winet, UCLA
Howard Winet
January 12, 2009
Dear Folkman family,
I am sorry to say that I just came to discover that Dr. Folkman passed away last year. I had but one contact with him but it left an impression that will be forever felt.

My late wife was afflicted with metastatic breast cancer and I reached out Dr. Folkman for help and advice. Although he didn't know who I was, he took my call and treated me like family. So kind, gentle and empathic a man was he. As a physician, I was so impressed by his manner and humility. I was touched by his special way and am forever grateful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me, albeit briefly. Be well,

Jay Kozlowski
Jay Kozlowski
August 9, 2008
God sent this world the cancer cure seed thrower in Dr. Judah Folkman...now it's up to those who will grow those seeds of cure for cancer he threw, let those seeds of cure germinate for the world of those who have or will get cancer. God bless us for this man may he rest in the arms of God.
Deborah H Wiseman
May 23, 2008
In 1998 when my young daughter was diagnosed with a vascular malformation on her brain stem, my sister-in-law sent me an article that appeared in a Boston newspaper regarding Dr. Folkman's research. Since we live on the west coast, I wanted to get a jump start on my phone call to him the following morning. I contacted information to request his office telephone number and once they gave it to me I dialed it. I was expecting to speak to an answering service but instead a very sleepy sounding man answered the phone. It was Dr. Folkman! I had been given his home telephone number and it was approaching midnight, Boston time! I apologized profusely and told him that I would contact his office the following morning. "No, no!" he said, and asked me to explain my daughter's precarious condition. After reviewing my daughter's history and her many CTs and MRIs, Dr. Folkman and I spoke throughout the years regarding our theories as to why vascular malformations bleed. They were only theories but he and I agreed that we would put those theories into practice. Yes, there would be naysayers he reminded me, but time would always produce answers. That was 10 years ago when very few people understood vascular malformations and now so much more is known. Since 2001 after my daughter's last surgery, she has been "bleed free!" And, after putting together an extensive chart on her progress which outlined everything Dr. Folkman and I had theorized, I decided to give him a call to discuss the results. Much to my dismay, I received an email from a friend just a few days later with a link to the story about his passing. So, it is with great sadness that I was never able to share with him our rudimentary theories that merely seemed like common sense to us. Nevertheless, without Dr. Folkman's great pep-talks regarding standing up for something you believe in especially in the face of resistance, my daughter would not be doing nearly as well as she is today. To Dr. Folkman I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving my daughter and my family.
Lee Daly
February 23, 2008
I met Dr. Folkman in 1958. I was student nurse at Salem Hospital in Massachusetts when a very young Dr. Folkman was doing his residency there. He always took the time to explain what he was doing for the patients, in a manner that a very young student nurse could understand. I have always remembered his courtesy and kindness throughout my 42 year nursing career.
Sylvia King R.N.
February 18, 2008
I had the joy of working as a technician with Dr. Folkman in his lab at Boston City Hospital and later at Children's Hospital. He was very respectful of all his employees and inspired me to go to Nursing School, which I did. He started me on a miraculous career and I'm sorry I never got to thank him in person. So I send a big thank you to his family instead and wish them peace during this very difficult time.
Lin DeYoung (formerly Nagi)
February 10, 2008
I met Dr. Folkman in 1992 when I had to visit the Children’s Hospital from Spain thanks to the unestimable help of Dr. Mulliken. My baby had a rare type of hemangioma that was no possible to treat in Spain. My 7 months pregnant wife, my baby and myself arrived in Boston and we didn’t know somebody there.

I had read a lot of informations about hemangiomas, included some medical articles talking about the anti-angiogenetics products experimented by Dr. Folkman.

We stayed 4 weeks at the Children’s Hospital. My wife was sleeping every night in a chair, just in the hospital’s room where my daughter Sylvia was located. Somebody talked to Dr. Folkman that a Spanish family had a serious problem and that a poor Spanish man that was no a doctor had read and memorized some works of him. One evening, Dr. Folkman came into our room and say hellow to us. It was a incredible thing that someone as occupied as him had time enough to dedicate some minutes to us. Dr. Folkman saw my wife and told us that it was neccessary to find something more confortable to her. The next week we had the chance to begin to live into a very low cost appartment of the Hospital.

I have no words to explain my feelings for his help. I have known very few people as kind as Dr. Folkman. I’ll never forget him.

Rest in peace.

Miguel Ángel García Cabrerizo (Sylvia García’s father,a patient of the Children’s Hospital Boston).
Miguel García
February 10, 2008
Please accept my deepest sympathies. Dr. Folkman was a great help for us in 1992 when my daughter Sylvia was operated at the Children's Hospital (Boston). Thanks a lot, Dr. Folkman. We'll not forget you.
Rest in peace for ever.

García Family, from Spain
Miguel García
February 10, 2008
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
February 10, 2008
Thanks for the opportunity to share our thoughts on such a great man. So many people from the PAIR: Patient Advocates In Research email list expressed sadness and admiration for Dr. Folkman that we decided to post them together, although some posted individually. Here are our comments:

"If you don't know, he's the guy who has kept his shoulder to the grindstone and all the other cliches since 1971. When I first got involved in patient advocacy, I heard about him and wrote him a note asking about angiogenesis and the extent to which he thought it could be overcome with anti-angiogenesis drugs of some sort. Later that day I got an email back from him and several more emails followed that also got answers. I want to mention him because he could have blown off my emails but he said in one answer that he thought trying anything to get patients involved in their own treatment was worth the effort. So, my hat's off to a really good guy who had the courage to stick to his guns and reminds me that persistence may be the most important thing of all."

"Not sure if everyone is aware, but Judah Folkman played a key, behind the scenes role in rescuing thalidomide from the chamber of horrors and turning it into a lifesaver for myeloma patients. The wife of a then relapsed/ refractory endstage myeloma patient went to Judah folkman to ask if the anti-angiogenesis agent he was working on could possibly help her husband. His response was that it wasn't ready but that there was this drug thalidomide and that it might be possible for a doctor he knew to get permission to treat her husband with it. This led to treatment of 3 myeloma patients (her husband included) with the drug. Her husband, sadly, died. But, the other 2 patients both responded to the drug and the rest is, as they say, history. I am personally grateful to this man because I got 5 good years out of thalidomide and am now on a thalidomide analog, revlimid. None of this would have been possible if this man did not take this woman's call. None of this would have happened if he hadn't taken the time to think about who might be able to help her. Big loss."

"I was very fortunate to have met Judah on several occassions. In May of 1998, shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer "Time Magazine" published an article written by Judah. This article gave me hope to take on the challenge of lung cancer treatment. It was only a few years later that I met Judah at a scientific workshop. I introduced myself and we talked about that article, how it gave me hope in a time of darkness, and his current work. From that point on I would always look for him at future conferences and when possible would talk about his research. The research arena, patients, and advocates has lost a valuable friend."

"Having heard the news via radio while driving, yesterday evening, I had such a visceral (as well as emotional) response (sense of loss, dismay) that I needed to pull off the road & stop, to collect my thoughts. I'd met Dr. Folkman many times, usually at talks he was invited to give in the greater Boston area. People flocked to listen to him as he enthusiastically (often with humor and wit) described latest findings in the work of his lab."

"Winding down as newsletter co-editor at Dana-Farber, approximately 4 years ago, I wanted my 'farewell editorial' to be about Dr. Sidney Farber and approached Dr. Folkman (whom Dr. Farber had hired) and others for interviews and personal recollections. Dr. Folkman was immediately responsive, generous with information, and held a broad view about patient & family-centered care, patient advocacy and about the life of the scientist - that went far beyond the initial scope of the article. A dear friend of mine (now deceased) was a patient of his for the last 6 years of his life, and was proud to call himself "one of Dr. Folkman's lab rats". The two of them were often on the phone (or in clinical visits) because Dr. Folkman invited him to collaborate about the pro's and con's of "the next cocktail" (that often contained Avastin). In my view, this collaboration bordered created kinship and hope. It contributed to my friend's zeal to keep living - as if this could stave off, as long as possible the smothering effects of the sarcoma. Their relationship was mutually rewarding. And there were no illusions. An exceedingly busy person, the doctor made time for people and projects. He made time to teach - not only in the classroom. A legacy of his father, the rabbi. (I phoned my friend's wife ... who had already heard the news. We acknowledged how very many lives Dr. Folkman (and his life and work) had touched. He will be greatly missed."

"I am stunned by the loss of Dr Folkman too...what a brilliant, caring man. About "Cancer Warrior"...I like to use this film when I am confronted by a bunch of scientific "non-believers" (you know, those people who say "science doesn't want to cure cancer, there's no money in it" or "science already has the cure, they just won't tell us") or sometimes present it to a group of survivors who need to understand how hard people are working for answers.The film does such a good job of making people understand how PAINSTAKING and difficult this science can be, and offers it with the face of Dr Folkman."

"Fortunately - because of the kind of person he was (and his generosity in so many areas of his life) - he "didn't keep his knowledge to himself" but was intent on training next-generations of scientists & researchers."

"Judah Folkman's sudden death yesterday represents a great loss. I went to Sloan to hear him give a grand rounds once, and was so impressed by his warmth, depth of knowledge and accessibility. Folkman was a rare independent-minded visionary, a scientist who persisted for twenty years in researching an area that others scoffed at. In this era when cancer research is increasingly driven by market forces, there aren't many independent minds."

"Last year Folkman spoke at both Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research and the Society for Integrative Oncology. Both were held in Boston. Since I had always made it a point to say hello to him and mention SHARE, we were fairly friendly. He gave pretty much the same talk at both events - pointing to the very different way he was regarded NOW (last November) as compared to most of his career."

"Several years ago Judah and I both spoke at an ACS fundraising event. He was one of those rare scientists who could talk about complex concepts in language that lay people could understand. After the event I spent some time talking with him and he was warm and engaging and willing to answer as many questions as you had. He will be missed by many."

"This was my first loss of a researcher but I did feel the same way. Luckily he lived long enough
to pass the baton like you said.
Sad regardless, he was BRILLIANT and struggled every step of the way. The good news is that his work will live on."

"I didn't know him, but have lost a few others and know how sad it is. We should all be so lucky to have made such a difference while we're here though."
Deborah Collyar
February 4, 2008
In my life I have never met anyone as impressive as Dr. Judah Folkman. I had the honor and privilege to work in his lab for a summer while I was at Harvard Medical School. I witnessed his keen intellect, his ability to communicate complex ideas, his commitment to medicine and science, his dedication to teaching the next generation of physician-scientists, and his love of humanity. He inspired those of us who were less than him (that was pretty much all of us) with his dedication and kindness. I left his lab at the end of that summer grateful for the experience and I grew to understand that good medicine led to good science and that the hard work of it all was worth the effort. Today, I try to incorporate those ideals into the care of my own patients each day. He always led me to believe that tomorrow was going to be a better day if we worked to make it so. My condolences go to his family and his close colleagues.
Edmund Lee
January 29, 2008
Former U.S. ambassador, Kenneth Franzheim II and I were afforded birds’ eye views of Judah Folkman’s unprecedented research through The Franzheim synergy Trust’s annual cancer research fellowship given during the ‘70s and ‘80s. The fellowship was contributed in my son’s memory, (his 1970 death under Dr. Folkman's care was from a metastasized rare cancer of the lining of the blood vessels - angioendotheliosarcoma).

As the field of angiogenesis was inadvertently born when Dr. Folkman began tumor experimentation while researching a blood substitute in the Navy in the ‘60s, he discovered that all tumors grew to the same size and hypothesized tumors could not grow beyond a certain size without a blood supply and that tumors must have some mechanism to induce the formation of blood vessels. Because he went on to prove that tumor growth could be stopped or even reversed by cutting off the blood supply that cancer needs to grow - drugs based on his idea for fighting tumors, known as angiogenesis inhibitors, had their genesis in his creation of substances that both promote and inhibit angiogenesis, or capillary and blood vessel growth.

"The Russians are coming," Dr. Folkman excitedly telexed.. Although always giving measured fellowship progress updates, that day he excitedly called saying that official delegation left taking his tumor assay research on calf collagen. When his research began, collagen was readily available through meat purveyors. Once breakthroughs commenced, calf collagen was very expensive. His lab’s experiments had yielded unexpected, diverse clinical applications, i.e., for corneal transplants. The Russians planned to immediately implement his corneal transplant success. Folkman commented that there’s no U.S.S.R. Food and Drug Administration-type protocol to satisfy before patients can benefit from proven treatment.

During some years, our fellowship and the Monsanto Corporation’s funding were the sole-supporters of Folkman lab. President of the Angiogenesis Foundation, Dr. William Li, a former student of Dr. Folkman’s, said Dr. Folkman’s work "literally changed the course of modern medicine." Folkman’s lab was renowned for being researcher-friendly; in scientific circles, it was unprecedented for lead researchers to routinely credit everyone involved in the work. Judah Folkman demonstrated continuously that his commitment was to science - not his ego. How could he not have received the Nobel Prize in Medicine?

Following a 2007 Charlie Rose/PBS show when several Nobel laureates on a panel failed to mention using angiogenic modalities for cancer treatment, I contacted one of the laureates, who explained: "Anti-angiogenesis continues to be promising but to my knowledge has yet to be translated into effective therapy."

I advised the Nobel laureate that I was aware of a 2007 scientific journal article referencing a 2004 quote from the Federal Drug Administration’s commissioner, asserting that anti-angiogenic therapy could be used as the fourth cancer treatment modality. Additionally, that a 2005 quote from the same journal announced that angiogenic research would probably change medicine worldwide with hundreds of millions benefiting.

One of the myriad ways Judah Folkman became known as the quintessential humanitarian is exemplified by my experience and similarly reported by countless others in this Guest Book. Within seconds of my cold-calling Dr. Folkman, he gave me his home phone number. He recounted that his father, a rabbi, told him as he was entering medical school: "There are many diseases known to mankind - but few cures ... you will often need to minister to your patients like a rabbi when you cannot cure them."

At his 1998 lecture at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, we discussed how a loved one’s death and subsequent memorial contributions could bring well-being to countless others worldwide. Judah Folkman's loss to all of humanity will be felt for the rest of time. Thank-heaven he trained many researchers, who God-willing, may be able to run with the baton his passing requires.
susan franzheim
January 28, 2008
I read about Dr. Folkman after getting an email from the inflammatory breast cancer(IBC) support group. Dr. Folkman's research has touched our family as my aunt is being treated with avastin for IBC. My daughter , Josephine wants to be a doctor. She has been a patient her entire life. I have emailed her this guestbook. I cannot think of a better life story than that of Dr. Folkman. Thank you for your research and devotion to all.
Sincerely,
Christine A. Droney
Christine Droney
January 27, 2008
Defying conventional wisdom - beyond angiogenesis

You arrive in the United States as a young postdoctoral fellow and learn a new workplace culture. Your are troubled by the conventional wisdom that “nice guys finish last”. You hear about rat race and ruthless researchers running their labs like Roman galleons. Then, you wonder whether it is theoretically possible to “be nice yet finish first”. Wouldn’t that be a worthwhile motto to live up to? My null-hypothesis was that you can’t. Over the past decade, Dr. Judah Folkman proved me wrong. He showed us that one can be nice and finish and stay on top.


Of course, scientifically, Dr. Folkman’s also defied common wisdom. But what is less well appreciated is that his scientific legacy reaches far beyond his theory of tumor angiogenesis. With his idea that tumor cells require the growth of new blood vessels from the surrounding tissue to thrive, and that attacking these blood vessels instead of the malignant tumor cells themselves may be a more effective way to curb cancer growth, Dr. Folkman founded a new field in medical research that would not have existed today without him. Akin to the first member of a species to invade a new land, his pioneering work led to the creation of an entire world-wide “ecosystem” of scientists over the past three decades. Their tireless exploration continues to marvel us with a non ending stream of new insights on the unfathomable complexity of cancer. However, like an ecosystem, the field of angiogenesis has evolved a stunning diversity, branching out into unnumerable and unforeseen directions. It has given rise to a dynamic web of preys and predators, collaborators and opponents, defenders of the old and promoters of the new. In the creative struggle for truth and cure in the kingdom of angiogenesis research, and as Dr. Folkman’s founding concept is subjected to the test of reality, modified and even new or maverick ideas have emerged.

We will thus begin to hear voices articulating alternative theories as these days and weeks of mourning give place to a scientific discussion. We will hear clinicians reiterate that anti-angiogenesis drugs have only marginal effects. We will hear scientists explain that what helps the cancer patient is the normalization, not the killing, of abnormal blood vessels by new anti-angiogenesis drugs, since in doing so they pave the way for delivery of co-administered conventional chemotherapeutic chemicals to the cancer cells. We will hear that even blood vessel cells can become resistant to chemotherapy, contradicting the central reason for targeting the blood vessels instead of the evasive tumor cells. We will hear that some anti-angiogenic drugs actually stimulate (rather than kill) blood vessels, activating their host defense programs that can help suppress the tumor cells. We may hear that many anti-angiogenesis drugs actually cause harm to tumor cells as much as they block blood vessels, much as conventional chemotherapy do. And we may hear that anti-angiogenesis drugs also suppress the inflammatory cells in the tumor, which live in a symbiotic relationship with the cancer cells and are essential for their growth.

Thus, as anti-angiogenesis-based therapy comes of age, it may well turn out that Dr. Folkman’s original idea that drugs directed at the tumor blood vessels could cure cancer by starving tumor cells to death may have been too simplistic. If so, Dr. Folkman’s theory would share the fate of some of the most brilliant insights in the history of science that have opened our minds through their elegant simplicity and have, modulo further modification and refinement, pushed new frontiers of scientific exploration to the benefit of mankind. Living systems and their pathological manifestations are far more complex than can possibly be conceived by even the brightest mind. Whether malignant tumors will one day be fully or only partially controlled by cutting off their blood supply routes, Dr. Folkman’s greatest, but rarely articulated achievement, is in my opinion the breaking of a firm paradigm of cancer research.

The central dogma, carved in stone and hard-wired in the mind of oncologists for decades, was that cancer expansion is a “cell-autonomous” process, driven by genetic mutations that convert a normal cell to an autonomous cell that proliferates and propagates beyond control.

In an extraordinary act of outside-the-box reasoning, Dr. Folkman discovered and opened the window to a new thinking that in its fundamental novelty reaches far beyond the horizon of angiogenesis research: the malignant and unstoppable cancer cells are not autonomous. They are not the sole bearer of the evil that must be stopped. To grow and destroy an organism cancer cells need the assistance of an army of non-cancerous cellular accomplices. Be they blood vessel cells, inflammatory cells or stromal cells, this is of lesser relevance in view of the magnificent overcoming of collective narrow focus on the malignant cell itself.

The idea that non-cancerous cells take part in cancer growth defied conventional wisdom. It has today matured to the investigation the role of the tumor-microenvironment - one of the hottest area of cancer research. Angiogenesis was but the most prosaic epitome of this paradigm shift. Dr. Folkman fought a bitter fight for an idea that was bigger than himself. He finished on top, yet preserved, in defiance of conventional wisdom, humility and kindness. Thus, you CAN be nice AND finish first. Those of us who aspire to more than (just) finishing first will remain inspired by Dr. Folkman in days to come when anti-angiogenic, or for that matter, anti-stromal cancer therapy, will be taken for granted.
S. H.
January 27, 2008
To the Folkman Family - I wish to convey my deepest condolences to you in the tragic loss of Dr. Folkman. He touched so many lives and had a dramatic impact on my life. My husband, Philip, was diagnosed with cancer in Jan of 2005 and was told that he only had six months to live. We were so fortunate to then learn of Dr. Folkman and his angiogenesis research which gave my husband another thirty-six months of life! We had the opportunity to speak personally to Dr. Folkman and he was always kind, compassionate and inspiring. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Dr. Folkman and the tremendous gifts that he gave to us - inspiration, determination, hope and life! God bless you.
Elaine Marquard
January 25, 2008
When I arrived to work in the laboratory of great Dr. Judah Folkman, he first asked me with a warm sincere concern (could you rent?).
It was one sentence which made me realize that he did not only give us the honor of being members of his laboratory but also of his big family, and when I heard about his shocking death, I honestly felt the tragidy of loosing a member of my own family.

He gave us each Friday in his regular lab. meetings copies of the best papers in angiogenesis, he taught us personally some new technical approaches in mice with his hands.

One of many unforgettable memories, I do remember that he gave the final talk in the Annual meeting of the VBP 2006, it was a long intense day full of very interesting presentations from every laboratory, he noticed by the end of the lectures that we were all tired, he rapidly finalized his talk saying: Once Dostoevsky submitted his book (Crime and Punishment) to one publishing houses, and they asked him to cancel one third of it, he thought it is a crime to murder words, however he said that he decided to cancel one third of his talk to let us go home and rest, he committed that silence to let us rest, however he never, he worked to the last day of his life.
That meeting was in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he showed me that wall where you see the names of all members of this association in which he was already invited to be a member of, but I think that the space which the legacy of Dr. Folkman occupied on that wall of civilization will continue growing to make it longer than the Chinese one.
Dr. Judah Folkman gave his life to fight the most aggressive enemy of human beings, and he is certainly alive in every patient, and immortal in the memory of every generation after generation after generation…..
Bissan Ahmed
January 24, 2008
I've lived in Boston since 1997, and whenever I have visited my doctor or had to go to the emergency room or a specialist for one reason or another, I've always been asked whether I was related to Dr. Folkman. In fact, he and I were distant relations (he and my grandfather were second cousins). I was always a bit embarrassed to admit the relationship to folks who asked, because I had never gotten to know Dr. Folkman, but I always felt as though I was treated especially well on account of the distant relationship, and I took that as a mark of respect for Dr. Folkman among the whole medical community here. My wife and I now have two young children, and like many parents in the area, we have had to take them to Children's Hospital at various times for minor problems that can panic new parents. The doctors and nurses at Children's, almost without fail, also asked about the relationship, and again, we felt that we were getting a bit of special treatment on account of our name.

For years I had wanted to visit Dr. Folkman, re-introduce myself to him, and thank him for smoothing the way in the complicated health care system. I never got up the courage to go--I was always a bit intimidated at the prospect of meeting the world-renowned cancer researcher, and always afraid that a visit would seem like an imposition. But reading now about how warm he was to patients and to colleagues, I like to think he would have welcomed the visit.

I'm sorry I missed my chance to say it to him while he was alive, but I will say it now: thank you, Dr. Folkman!
Ted Folkman
January 24, 2008
Remember Dr. Folkman
I began to know Dr. Judah Folkman’s work when I was pursuing my Ph.D. in the UK specialized in research related to cancer. I got to know his work further when I fortunately met one of Dr. Folkman’s postdoctoral fellows Dr. Mike O'Reilly (Now a professor at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) at the NATO Advanced Study Institute Conference on Intermolecular Cross-Talk in Tumor Metastasis in Athens, Greece from July 24 to August 3, 1998. After my Ph.D., I joined Dr. Margaret Shipp’s lab at Dana Farber Cancer Institute which is next door to Children’s Hospital where Dr. Folkman worked. At DFCI, we collaborated with Dr. Marsha Moses in Dr. Folkman’s Program on research of bFGF and angiogenesis. A great researcher yet very personable, Dr. Judah Folkman said hi to me every time when I run into him in the facilities and he got to know my research.

In early 2002, on behalf of Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professional Association-New England (SAPA-NE) I had the opportunity to approach Dr. Folkman and invite him to give a keynote speech at the 5th SAPA-NE annual scientific conference. I still remember his smile when I finally got his speech acceptance in the cafeteria of Children’s Hospital. “Sure I will attend because it is your meeting”. What’s followed was a signed acceptance letter through fax “Dear Dr. Wu, I am honored to be invited to give a keynote speech at… I am happy to accept…”. My SAPA-NE colleague Dr. Shiwen Lin, the conference chair and myself as a co- chair, were so delighted to receive the trust and support from Dr. Folkman. Held at MIT on Saturday June 22, the 2002 SAPA-NE conference was the greatest success in SAPA-NE’s 10 year history attributed to Dr. Folkman’s keynote speech. SAPA-NE colleagues and I still remember vividly his key words “if one day you dry the ocean and you will be surprised to see the sea floor is totally different from what you have in mind”. What instilled in us further are his humbleness, dedication and sense of commitment. At the conference day, Dr.Folkman was one of the first among not only speakers but also all conference attendees to arrive at the auditorium at 6:30 am. His keynote speech was the first on the schedule at 8:30am and he stayed on for the whole Saturday. My colleagues at SAPA-NE were deeply moved by his generous support. In light of the great success of the 2002 SAPA-NE conference, SAPA organized a symposium in 2003 in New Jersey. I had the honor again to help invite Dr. Folkman to give a speech at the SAPA symposium. I was again favored by Dr. Folkman and he accepted the invitation and traveled in his busy schedule to New Jersey.

Three years ago, I completed my postdoc research at DFCI. I wrote to Dr. Folkman for his advice on my career search. He met me twice in his Office and made many suggestions on my next career steps. In the second meeting. he invited Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro to join the meeting. He would like to offer me a faculty position to work on some related projects in his Program. He also suggested I may go back to China to take an important position or establish an Institute, if so, he would be happy to be my advisor and give the opening remarks in my Institute. He also said we would publish papers together. When I decided to join CHB CHIP Program, he cheerfully supported my decision and promised to work together.

Dr. Folkman had a busy schedule but he always made time to talk to young scientists and greet scientists from China. When Endostar was approved in China, he told me about the news and he felt very excited about the opportunities in China. He then invited Dr. Yongzhang Luo to give a talk on Endostar in CHB. When Dr. Jie-fu Huang, Vice Minister, Ministry of Health, People's Republic of China gave a talk in HMS, Dr. Folkman would like to give Dr. Huang a book titled “Dr. Folkman's War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer” (Chinese version). Per Dr. Folkman’s request, I had the honor to introduce them each other. The picture attached remains a precious memory of Dr. Folkman.

Three months ago, I submitted a manuscript to Molecular Cell. A little over one month ago when I met Dr. Folkman at CHB, we were just talking about my work in that manuscript. I gave Dr. Folkman a hard copy of the manuscript and he read the abstract immediately and promised to read on and get back to me with his comments. I never received his comments rather later found out about the shocking news of his departure. An admired scientist, great mentor, and personable friend has left, but his humbleness, dedication and sense of commitment will be with us forever.

Erxi Wu, Ph.D.
Erxi Wu
January 24, 2008
I first met Dr. Folkman Sept. 1, 1966, when I was involved in a motorcycle accident resulting in my leg being torn off. The last thing I remembered that night was that they were going to finish the amputation in surgery. Much to my surprise I awoke to find my leg still attached, with movement in my toes. This was the start of 154 consecutive days of Dr Judah Folkman working twice a day to save my leg. He never missed a day, sometimes coming in at 4AM, prior to giving a lecture in Toronto and returning at 11PM to work on me. In those 154 days I never met or will meet a more hard working, dedicated and humble person. I attended his service out of respect to his family especially his wife who's performances he would miss due to his long hours he would spend on me.
Thank You for allowing the world His genius and caring.
Jan Dangora
January 24, 2008
Dear Paula, I am one of thousands of medical students deeply inspired by the wit, brilliance, and dedication of your late husband, Dr. Judah Folkman. He was truly a great and glorious physician, surgeon, teacher, and research investigator. His bedside manner and teachings remain with us, his students, forever. "What 5 new ideas have you learned in your life today?" "Half of the medical information you' re taught will be irrelevant in 50 years. The trouble is, we never know which half is true." Thus, the dedicated physician continues to pursue science and investigation all our days on earth.

Thanks for supporting Judah and sharing your husband's gifts with the world. My deepest sympathy and kind regards from all the Murray family to you and yours on the loss of Judah. Kathy Murray-Leisure, MD, Harvard Medical 1978, Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology. 1/24/08.
Katherine Murray-Leisure, MD
January 23, 2008
I was one of the very fortunate to have trained under Dr. Folkman in the mid-late 1970's.
I remained a friend and someone who had the utmost admiration for this truly remarkable person. Dr. Folkman was unique beyond description. His genius was in the league of Albert Einstein, commitment to medicine and his patients was consistent with Albert Schweitzer, and his kindness was in the league of a Mother Theresa. Is it possible that one man could be all of these things? If you are talking about Judah Folkman-the answer is yes.
His contribution to society is yet to be fully appreciated. We have lost a great scientist, surgeon, and most importantly a great man. Personally, I will miss him dearly.
My heartfelt and deepest sympathies to his wonderful family




Posted by Marshall Z. Schwartz, M.D. January 15, 08 09:23 PM
Marshall Schwartz. M.D.
January 23, 2008
Many persons attended Dr. Folkman's funeral a few days ago, and I recalled the numerous times that I heard him speak to such a large group during the past 15 years. He was a wonderful speaker, very inspirational, and almost always the rooms were filled to capacity, Standing Room Only. Not only was it what he said, but how he said it. If he was nervous, he never showed it. He never "read" his talk, but the words and ideas just flowed out. He was respected by all who listened.
Evelyn Flynn
January 22, 2008
pioneer
brilliant
inspiring
teacher
modest
kind
determined
courageous
generous
devoted
nurturing
humble
mentor
gifted

The list could go on and on. Dr. Folkman was an extraordinary physician who will be greatly missed as a dedicated scientist and researcher but more importantly, as a wonderful, caring human being. As a novice OR nurse in the early 70's I had the honor and privilege of working with him on cases when he was Chief of Surgery. He had the rare combination of being a great surgeon as well as a caring and compassionate physician to his patients and their families, always taking time to talk and listen. He was such a gentleman, so passionate about his work and eager to share his knowledge and visions. I will miss seeing him around the hospital in his white lab coat acknowledging people as he passed by.

I hope his family finds comfort in all the testimonials that are pouring in - he touched so many lives - such an incredible legacy of a man selflessly dedicating his life to helping others. Over the years I have clipped articles on his angiogenesis research convinced that someday he would be awarded the Nobel Prize. Although he never received this recognition, he achieved so much more - the respect and admiration of people throughout the world and truly making a difference to millions of people and their families whose lives have been touched by cancer. To honor his memory we should all follow his example - pursue your dreams, never give up and believe in yourself.

A bright light has been dimmed at Children's Hospital and for all the cancer research world. May that light shine bright again and guide the way as others are inspired to continue Dr. Folkman's vision and research for a cure for cancer. This is truly what he would want.

May his memory be eternal.
Jo-Ann Rosen RN
January 21, 2008
Discoverer!
Emil Frei III, M.D.
January 21, 2008
I was privileged to work with Dr. Folkman as a fourth year HMS student in 1976 doing an elective in Pediatric Surgery. I will never forget spending an hour in his office discussing the importance of obtaining an autopsy consent, and how to do it properly and respectfully. He was the consummate clinician, educator, researcher, and visionary explorer. He touched the lives of so many patients,students, residents, colleagues and friends. He was beloved by us all.
Phyllis Pollack
January 21, 2008
Being a cancer survivor, I was part of a small ongoing study for recurrence. I never met Dr. Folkman, but met and talked to his assistant at Boston Childrens Hospital. I had a question for him and was so touched and greatly comforted as well as surprised when he called my at home on his way to the airport for a conference. He was a brilliant and compassionate man.
Judith Eddy
January 21, 2008
What a wonderful life well lived, few can say they had such a wonderful ride. Filled with a solid up bringing, a strong spiritual base, amazing intelligence and a drive to find a cure to cancer. Combine this with a life filled with love of a wonderful family. I am amazed at Dr. Folkman's persistence and drive. I am a new RN at CHB and am sad that I didn't get to meet and work with this great man.
I lost a sibling to cancer last year and Avastin kept him alive for longer than we would have had him otherwise. Thank you, Dr. Folkman, to your amazing contributions to the world. A life well lived and a true, hero indeed. There are many lessons that we can all take from this great man's life.
Peace in the afterlife~
Anonymous
January 21, 2008
As a member of Vascular Biology Program at Children’s Hospital Boston from 2004 to 2007, I had real privileges meeting Dr. Folkman. The very special meeting started when a family of my friend who had a cancer contacted me for the possible treatment in Boston. I asked Dr. Folkman for help and his immediately arranged a specialist for my friend. Dr. Folkman also tried to give me hope and brought his paper about thalidomide with his handwriting “From Judah Folkman to Jeong-Hee Yang.” Since then, He became my hero and mentor. Last year mid August evening, I met Dr. Folkman in front of Trade Joe, Brookline on my waiting for a friend. When I noticed, he was walking toward me with a full smile in his very rare no tie semi classic suit (as far as I remember he was always dressed up under the well ironed gown) that made me feel close to him. I was startled but also very pleased to see him. “Dr. Folkman, How could you come here?” He said “Well, I drove Paula from Tangle wood to home, and came for shopping. As tomorrow we will have visitors at home.” I offered him help, but he said, “Don’t worry, Paula give me a list.” Till he finished shopping by himself, my friend still did not show up. We started talking again. He talked about anti-angiogenesis therapy, he would go to Gordon Conference at Newport and also mentioned other renowned scientist’ works.
That incessant enthusiasm for the cancer research as usual and I always felt fresh motivation and encouragement from him.
Finally, his car left, I just felt soaked in a humble emotion. Not long later, my friend arrived. I told her about what happed to me a moment ago. She said, “How incredible, Dr. Folkman came for shopping!! I said to her, “No, I think for him to do this for his wife is very natural to me.” I told her about the story what I read in the book “Dr. Folkman’s war” by Robert Cooke, describing the day when Dr. Folkman proposed future Mrs. Folkman. “If you read that book, you will understand what I am saying.” Once I presented him a small chocolate box to express my gratitude, he said in his that gentle and politeness, “Thank very much! My wife will like it.”

Dr. Folkman, the greatest mentor, the greatest scientist and the warmest doctor ever, we all miss you dearly.
God bless you in Heaven!

My heartfelt sympathies to Mrs. Folkman and his family,
Jeong-Hee Yang
Korea
Jeong-Hee Yang
January 20, 2008
Dear Paula,
What a privilege it has been to read of the life and work of your dear husband in the words of so many who were touched, healed, taught and inspired by his noble spirit, brilliant mind and committed heart. May you and your family find some measure of consolation in the knowledge that he is celebrated and loved by so many. My heart goes out to you at this time of parting. May his love ever enfold you in peace.
Betsy Clifford
TFC
Elizabeth Clifford
January 20, 2008
My memories of Judah Folkman go back to the summer of 1951 or 1952. He was working with Dr. Howard Sirak, a cardiac surgeon, experimenting with a prosthetic heart valve. They were working in the dog lab, and recruited me, a your operating room nurse, to "volunteer to help."

Judah would help me collect the instruents and supplies, and after the operations he would return with me to the hospital to help with the clean-up.

I was a Methodist minister's daughter, and we felt some kinship in being clergy offspring who understood the public expectations of us as we grew up.

He was so young and exceptionally mature. He was kind, thoughtful, witty, and just a pleasure to be with. I feel privileged to have known him for that one brief summer.

Miriam Jeffers Wagner, R.N.
Westerville, Ohio
Miriam Wagner
January 20, 2008
I shall never forget Dr.Folkman, quietly making his late evening rounds on Division 28,the original Oncology Ward of Boston Children's in the 60's. He would routinely be found by the bedsides of his young patients,standing there and gently patting them on the head.It was so obvious how much he deeply cared about each of them. He was always there for the family giving them comfort the strength to carry on.
I will never forget one late night conversation I had with him as we signed one of his little patients into the Pathology Department.
I could see sadness in his eyes as he said goodbye to the baby.
He began telling me about what he was doing in the labs. He took a paper towel and drew a diagram of a closed lock with a key next to it. He said, the lock represented cancer and the key was the agent that would fit into the lock and turn the cancer process off.
He told me at this time he was working with Interferon and it and it's derivatives where one day going to cure cancer.
I knew at that very moment his words were going to be so prophetic.
I have always had a complete faith in that he would one day prove his theory,thus revolutionizing the treatment of Cancer.
Oh God, how I wish I had kept that paper towel!
Dr. Folkman will be missed for a very long time. I wish that he had lived to see his life long theory evolve into one of the greatest cancer therapies ever developed.
I am so sorry he never received his due during his living years....
The Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine!
My heart sincerely goes out to his entire family and friends.
He will be greatly missed.
God Bless him!
Elizabeth"Nurse Betty"Normandin RN
Elizabeth Normandin RN
January 19, 2008
I had the privilege of working in Dr. Folkman's laboratory as a medical student many years ago and still relish the times we spent together. Not only did he shape the field of angiogenesis but he shaped each of us to believe in ourselves. My deepest condolences to the family. We have all been blessed by his years with us.
Vikas Sukhatme
January 19, 2008
Dr. Folkman inspired me to pursue a career in academic oncology. Like so many others, I learned about his work in 1998. At the time I was studying biochemistry with one of Dr. Watson's former students, and tried to learn more. I came to the realization that his theory of cancer angiogenesis, and the targeting of the support in general that cancer cells get from non-cancer cells, was on the verge of revolutionizing medical oncology. I wanted to be part of that revolution.

What an honor it was to subsequently meet this kind, generous, and altogether wonderful man on several occasions, and attended many lectures. He became my role model for what a physician-scientist should be. Thank you, Dr. Folkman! Your example has help me find the courage to try to improve the way we treat cancer.
Peter C. Everett, MD
January 19, 2008
In this day and age, where society’s heroes are actors and atheletes, I sometimes ask myself, where are the true “heroes”. If your son, your daughter, your wife, your mother, your father, your loved one had cancer, you would know the true hero.

Thank you, Dr. Folkman, as you have been a true hero for many years. The saddest part of your passing you will no longer be able to teach your colleagues, your peers, our sons and daughters how to be true heroes. A tremendous loss to all.

Rest in peace my hero.
FGF
January 19, 2008
The diagnosis and treatment of patients with breast cancer is beginning to be influenced by new ideas and discoveries emerging from the field of angiogenesis research. This field, pursued in the laboratory for more than 20 years, has in the past 5 years generated clinical applications. Some of these applications have begun to change current thinking about cancer patients and especially about those with breast cancer.
Judah Folkman spoke those words 2 years ago when he spoke at U MASS Medical School in Worcester.
My friend Judy who has breast cancer listened very carefully.After his talk I introduced Judy to Judah. She asked if she could become a patient and indeed she did.Judy is another patient that will miss Judah Folkman and is so thankfull for his time and knowledge.
Shalom and may peace be with you.
Condolences to your family.
Barbara Kupfer
January 19, 2008
Savior, Caretaker and the brightest light I could have ever found while facing a lifelong battle with a vascular birth defect. I for one will carry his torch forever.
Erin Rosas
January 19, 2008
Especially to Paula: I did not know Judah professionally but only through your singing in Boston Cecilia and TFC. I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of his passing. When with you at our Cecilia concerts and receptions, he was just another wonderful human being, most accessible and not full of himself. I feel blessed and thankful that he worked so diligently to solve the mystery of various cancers and always admired his tenacity. I remember his Rabbi father from Ohio State and Columbus. You'll undoubtedly also remember the time I called you by your maiden name just to prove I had read the book on his life and work! I bid you sympathy and Shalom. Please don't stop singing now. Your spirit is much needed in our world.
Robert Kluter
January 19, 2008
It was my honor to share in this wonderful man's devotion to pediatric patient care. In 1972 I began my association with Dr. Folkman and for the next 13 years I watched, daily amazed by his compassion and brilliance. He would return from giving an international lecture on cancer and drop to his knee to look into the eyes of a tiny patient. His outward appearance was always immaculate and professorial, but his warmth and humor would draw people to him. I recall when he would not charge any child supported by Welfare for an operation -- that was beyond his comprehension. He was exquisitely generous with his time and his genius.

I remain in medicine, 30 years later, attributing my skills and work ethic to Dr. Folkman's fatherly attention to detail and excellence. I will be forever grateful that the good Lord put me in that place where I could, for a short time, have the honor to know him.

My deepest condolences to his adored family, Mrs. Folkman, his two daughters, and his granddaughter. Although the world has lost a champion, his legacy will live on in those with whom he shared his courage and vision to dedicate their lives in the care of their fellow human beings.
Mary Jo Dwyer
January 18, 2008
Our condolences to Dr. Folkman’s family. I lost a mentor. You read an article that I wrote in 2002 on foods that can inhibit angiogenesis. You called me at 7:00 p.m. central time in January 2003 and invited me to come to your lab in June 2003 at Children’s Hospital to learn the CAM and corneal pocket assays. During my stay in your lab, you called me in my hotel room; took time to talk to me every day in the conference room near your lab; made sure that I had lunch and met with other researchers on the floor. It gave me the opportunity to meet with some of the finest medical doctors who are searching for drugs that inhibit angiogenesis. I also met with students who came to your lab to learn about angiogenesis. You were such a good mentor to thousands of students around the world. You also gave me your cell phone and beeper numbers and suggested that I stay in touch with you and continue to search for foods and compounds in foods that inhibit angiogenesis. That was the message that you wrote in a copy of the book “Dr. Folkman’s War” that you autographed for me. I will keep it forever. You referenced my work in one of your book chapters. You always called me back within two minutes whenever I left my phone number on your beeper and you never hesitated to spend time advising me on research. I am sad that you are gone. May God protect your beloved wife, children, and grand daughter! May You Rest in Peace, Dr. Folkman!
Jack Losso
January 18, 2008
Our condolences go out to Dr. Folkman’s family, we cannot comprehend their loss. We held him dear in our hearts ever since he operated on our 3 year old son 38 years ago. The compassion and caring he has for our whole family is tremendous and although our son only lived to age 5 we knew that Dr. Folkman had done everything possible to save him. Even 23 years after our son’s death and the article in the Globe of Dr. Folkman’s discoveries, we wrote a note to the Globe in response on what a humble and compassionate man Dr. Folkman is. Two days later Dr. Folkman himself called us to tell us he never forgot our son through all the years of his research. We were so touched and impressed again at what a wonderful, caring and compassionate man Judah Folkman is. We will never forget him, ever.

The family of Chris Griffin
Jack & Nancy Griffin
January 18, 2008
Greetings,
Eleven years ago, my wife was diagnosed with 'incurable' lymphoma at the age of 31. As an IT guy, I immersed myself into anything that would help her. I found Judah almost immediately and understood the science of angiogenesis/Anti-angiogenesis completely. Since that time, I was and always will be a huge "Folkmaniac" and had the pleasure to meet him five times in person at various cancer events and introduce him to my wife, who by the way is doing great - and there is always hope treating cancer "Folkman Style." Judah was the perfect doctor, he always had time, he always had options, even for those who dissed him all the years and were calling him at home. He carried me through some of my darkest days, his science lighting the darkness. Thank goodness he had a solid family behind him so he could share his AMAZING mind with the rest of the world. He did it. You did it Judah, you showed the world what an extraordinary human being can do. Thank you. Thank you for giving tirelessly to the cancer community. Many of us know your science spans all medical specialties, the eyes, cancer, heart, etc. Time to rest. Finally, you did it. Thank God for you, Moses Judah Folkman. By the way, I have always said, the Nobel Prize was never big enough for you. Guess the Folkman Prize will have to eclipse it once the world sees what you knew and did.
Love, your fans,
-Ben and Janice Haines
Ben Haines
January 18, 2008
My sympathy to you on your loss.
A number of years ago, I suggested to a congregant ( suffering from cancer) to contact Judah. Judah spent considerable time talking to that person. Judah was a special person, just as were his parents. Our world is much better because he was here. We are poorer upon his loss. May God comfort you at this time.
Rabbi Philip Berkowitz
January 18, 2008
We will always remember Judah Folkman as such a kind and brilliant Dr. He was the surgeon for our infant daughter, Blair's, complex case at Boston Children's 25 years ago. He was a gifted surgeon and a warm, kind person who we will never forget. Our deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues. Sincerely, Robin and Frank Sylvis
Robin and Frank Sylvis
January 17, 2008
God bless you Dr, You helped my sister Debbie have hope for the future. I love you for that. We will see you soon.
Patricia Krebaum
January 17, 2008
I shall always remember this dear man because of the generosity of his spirit. Our 12 year old son, Paul, was dying of brain cancer in December 1995 at Boston Children's. He spent over an hour of his precious time with me, trying desperately to think of a way he could help us. He met with me again 2 days later with sad news---there were no more options for my beautiful boy. I could tell how pained he was to have to face me with this news. I am forever grateful to him for his honesty and love---he provided closure for us, knowing we had done all we could do. I cried when I heard of his death.
andrea adelman
January 17, 2008
I am saddened to learn of Dr. Folkman's sudden passing. Hopefully, his associates will continue his groundbreaking work.

Over 25 years ago, a colleague handed me that day's Wall Street Journal, telling me my name was in the paper. It turned out to be an article about another David Folkman, detailing his promotion to CEO. On a whim, I wrote a note of congratulations, in which I included some details of my family history. I received a wonderful two-page letter in return; David described his family background as well (our respective roots are in Poland). He mentioned that in the mid- 60s, his sister mailed articles to him about my comics exhibits in Rochester, N.Y., where I was a student at RIT. It was not until years later I learned that his older brother was Dr. Judah Folkman. To my regret, I never had the opportunity to meet either David or his siblings.

My heartfelt sympathies to the Folkman family.
David Folkman
January 17, 2008
Dr. Folkman was the greatest human being I have had the good fortune to meet in person. What a privilege it was. Not just his discoveries were brilliant, original, uniquely insightful. Dr. Folkman was a giant personality, compassionate and courteous in the deepest sense, and inspiring in the broadest sense. 74 seems too young, although Dr. Folkman died the way many of us say we'd prefer to -- vigorous to the end, then gone in an instant with no long, slow decline. But his early death means dozens of other young people will not get to know him or be inspired by him. For this, I feel sad, although I should simply be grateful that he existed, and that I had the incredible good luck to know him.

Someday I hope, there will be a Judah Folkman Physician/Scientist/Humanitarian Award, and any recipient of this award should feel more honored to receive it than a Nobel Prize. In fact, had Dr. Folkman been awarded a Nobel, it should have been the Peace Prize. A Folkman Award could not be given every year, but only singularly, in the unlikely event that someone of that depth and breadth of gifts, and giving, appears again.

A Supernova, a great man by any definition, and gone too soon. We are richer for having been his contemporaries.
Mimi Thompson Breed
January 17, 2008
Dr Folkman was a gentle, humble man of great character. He could make anyone feel comfortable, balancing a keen mind with an obvious love of people. I was privileged to meet him on many occasions, to learn from him, and gain insights into angiogenesis research.

He persevered during early stages of angiogenesis research as "one crying out in the wilderness." His inner strength and confidence propelled him to stay the course and lead many in their career paths to benefit cancer patients.

Despite his significant scientific and medical accomplishments, he emanated a message that his greatest accomplishment was his family. Peace and grace to his family and friends in their loss.

I wish that there were more Judah Folkmans in the world. It is a better place because of him. Blessed be his memory and lasting legacy.
David Shalinsky
January 17, 2008
In 1974, Ambassador Franzheim and I set up an annual cancer research fellowship focused on tumor angiogenesis investigations which included tumor assay research with calf collagen - resulting in various clinical applications, i.e., corneal transplants.
The fellowship was in memory of my son who died in 1970 from metastasized angioendotheliosarcoma in Dr. Folkman's care. Within the first seconds of my calling him he gave me his home phone number being one of the myriad ways he became known as the quintessential humanitarian.

Dr. Folkman told me that his father, the rabbi, told him as young Judah was entering medical school: "There are many diseases known to mankind - but few cures...you will often need to minister to your patients like a rabbi when you cannot cure them."

The last time I saw Dr. Folkman - at his 1998 lecture at the Texas Medical Center in Houston - he told me that there was a stretch of years during the 80s when the angiogenesis funding had essentially ceased and only The Franzheim synergy Trust's funding kept his research viable. As I knew him to only give reliable reports on everything - I was shocked - for I never had a clue that his work was at risk.

I was in communication with Dr. Folkman last year after a Charlie Rose/PBS show when several Nobel laureates and others did not mention angiogenic modalities in re cancer treatment. I contacted one of the laureates who explained: "Anti-angiogenesis continues to be promising but to my knowledge has yet to be translated
into effective therapy."

I advised the Nobel laureate that I had been made aware of a scientific journal in 2007 referencing a 2004 quote from the Federal Drug Administration’s commissioner who asserted that anti-angiogenic therapy could be used as the fourth cancer treatment modality. I further advised that a 2005 quote from that same journal announced that angiogenic research would probably change medicine worldwide with hundreds of millions benefiting.

Judah Folkman's loss to all of humanity will be felt for the rest of time. Thank GOD for decades - he trained many researchers - who GOD-willing may be able to take the baton his passing requires.
susan franzheim
January 17, 2008
I was deeply saddened by the news that Judah Folkman has passed away. As an Editor, I worked on one of the very last review articles he wrote, and met him and his wife briefly in Boston. It had a lasting impression on me - I came to admire him not only as one of the greatest minds in science, but also as such an incredibly nice person! As a thank you for my work on his article, he sent me one of the latest books on anti-angiogenic drugs. Coincidentally, it arrived just after my husband had been diagnosed with a high-grade sarcoma. I was truly touched, and it gave me great comfort to think that scientist like him are tirelessly working to battle cancer, and the knowledge that maybe, if things got really bad, I could call him for advice. The world has lost a great man, and my heart goes out to his family.
Alexandra Flemming
January 17, 2008
A bright light has gone out for all those who have battled cancer. I pray other researchers and doctors will pick up the torch and continue what Dr Folkman has put into place.
His family and the medical world have lost an man that cannot be replaced.
Myra Walker
January 17, 2008
I AM SURE YOU ARE WITH GOD FOR ALL
THE GOOD YOU HAVE GIVEN TO MANKIND.
SHARON TKACZYK
January 17, 2008
My deepest sympathies to the Folkman family. I first met Judah when I introduced him as a speaker at the Miami Children's Hospital Pediatrics course several years ago. Thanks to that chance meeting and his interest in and treatment of my mother's illness, she is still alive and well. I thank him for that every day of my life.
He will be missed, but never forgotten.
Barry Chandler, MD
January 17, 2008
I had the great honor of meeting Dr Folkman as a student nurse at MGH when he was in his residency. I was in awe of his intelligence, humility and caring. It was obvious even then that he was destined to achieve greatness in his field. His immediate family and extended family of all those he touched in his lifetime have lost an incredible man. May he rest in peace.
Ruth Anne Chaplis
January 17, 2008
My deepest condolences to the Folkman family.

Because of Dr Folkman groundbreaking work, many of us moved into the
angiogenesis field.

I was fortunate to meet Judah Folkman while visiting his laboratory and I was impressed by his brilliant mind and gentle manners.

What a great loss not only for the angiogenesis community but also for science in general.
Andreas Bikfalvi MD PhD
January 17, 2008
When we first met Dr. Folkman, we commented that, no doubt, he was the greatest man we would ever meet in our lifetime! What we also came to realize as we met with him during Nancy’s 3 ½ year participation in his Endostatin clinical trial, was what a compassionate and caring person he was! What a blessing Dr. Folkman was to this world and to us personally!
Dave & Nancy Hawkins
January 17, 2008
A noble man with noble intentions to help humanity will be greatly missed.
Ramakumar Tummala
January 17, 2008
I did not know about Dr. Folkman as I am relatively new to the cancer family. I am undoubtedly in remission due to his perseverance in the cancer field. I send my concolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Deborah Spoone
January 17, 2008
I worked with Dr. Folkman over the last 15 years. He was a surrogate father to me. Although we were very close, it was common knowledge that only his wife and a few others called him Judah. To the rest of us in his department, he was Dr. Folkman. He enjoyed the respect of his profession and returned that respect to his colleagues. That is why you would find him in a suit and white coat even when we were driving to a talk in Florida and it was 90 degrees. I would try, without success, to get him to take off the white coat or suit coat because I worried that he would over-heat. However, he had a routine that he resisted altering. As a former chief of surgery, he came in very early in the morning to round. After he transitioned to mostly lab work, he still kept the same hours. This meant that he was always the first at work and the last to go home, leaving those that worked for him feeling like we had it easy.

I came as a postdoc to work with him in 1992 and stayed on faculty to this day. I was persuaded by his vision to continue to work towards his dream of developing therapies to treat angiogenic diseases. Our individual lab projects were complementary and on occasion we would package our projects together for grants. Thus we would often travel together to make our presentations. During these trips, I learned many things from Dr. Folkman. He taught me always to return patients calls and find some way to give them hope. He taught me that perseverance was necessary to bring forward truly novel ideas. He showed me by example that I needed to understand our patients’ suffering and use that as motivation to find better treatments for them. He was a man who put his patients first and used the laboratory as a weapon for them.

He was strong but still cared about what his peers thought. He taught me to avoid publicity at all cost because peer jealousy would undermine one’s ability to work. He very rarely appeared on TV despite hundreds of requests. Unfortunately, given the revolutionary aspect of his ideas, his work was controversial. Many scientists couldn’t envision the potential of anti-angiogenic therapy. It would have been tempting to give up and try something else. However, for Dr. Folkman, the controversy increased his resolve and determination. He worked relentlessly even as he grew older. We argued with him that he had done enough for the field and that he should pass the burden down to the next generation. However, he knew that anti-angiogenesis therapy would save thousands of lives and he felt that he had to work to make sure that it reached fruition. He knew that it was his burden to make this a reality. This is why he would fly to California to convince Genentech to continue working on Avastin, after their interest had waned in the early years of preclinical development. This is why he would fly to the NCI to convince them to take up trials of angiogenesis inhibitors. It never stopped.

So the untold story of this man is that he gave his very life to make these therapies possible for patients. I loved him as my father for what he taught me, but you should love him for what he gave to humankind. A gift that is quite rare. And we should thank Mrs. Folkman and his family for sharing this wonderful man with the rest of the world. Their gift is just as great.
Robert D'Amato
January 17, 2008
I never knew Dr. Folkman in any capacity but when I read of his death it was as if I had known him all my life. Truly, this is a profound loss for not only his family and friends but for the entire world. I mourn with all of you and take some comfort in the truth that he will go down with the greats of science who strive to advance man's knowledge despite great odds. He walked on the shoulders of those giants of academic excellence. Now others will walk on his creating new possibilities in man's endless quest to cure the enigma of disease. Rest in peace, righteous man. You have earned it.
Natalie Rosen
January 17, 2008
what an amazing individual, to touch the lives of so many he would never meet. Truly a selfless soul.
ally prefontaine
January 17, 2008
In honor of a man whom I did not know, I wish you peace that surpasses our understanding...
In reading the guest book for Dr. Folkman, an entry that stands out the most to me is from M.Borghesani. "May he rest well while those he inspired take up his passions." From all the testamonies written, seems Dr. Folkman would want his passions lived out in others both professionally thru research and medicine esp. related to curing cancer, but also in caring compassion for all those we connect with thru out our lifetimes. We could truly honor him by adopting his attributes. Condolences to his loved ones.
D Wood
January 17, 2008
My deepest condolences go to the Dr. Folkman family. He truly was a visionary – and believed in his ideas; furthermore, he always worked on the proof of concept, i.e. trying to stop tumor growth by blocking pro-angiogenic growth factors. I personally was stimulated by his work – and used the opposite side of the same principle: Promoting angiogenesis (by protein therapy utilizing FGF-1) as a treatment for atherosclerotic diseases, such as coronary heart disease. Without Judah’s ground- breaking work, our research and human clinical trials since 1995 wouldn’t be possible. Thank you, Judah Folkman. R.I.P.
Thomas Stegmann, M.D., PhD.
January 17, 2008
May his memory be as a blessing
B en Avram
January 16, 2008
Judah Folkman was one of Science's remarkable human beings. No tribute can do justice to to his contributions as a scientist, visionary, mentor, colleague or human being. He embodied all the positive attributes of "Tikkun Olam" - bettering the world. He will be sorely missed but he will be remembered as a "blessing to the world". May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion.
Erev Shalom Judah.
Elliot Levine
January 16, 2008
I had the honor of working in Dr Folkman's lab for the last year as a visiting scientist. He always had an encouraging word or inspirational outlook. A very personable man who was constantly on the phone with doctors and their patients. Not only did the world lose a great scientist, doctor and researcher, I lost a friend.
Jon Peterson
January 16, 2008
Dr. Folkman was famous as the best of lecturers when I was at Harvard many years back, and he often invited groups of medical students to dinner at his home. I vividly remember my evening there. He had the sweetest wife and a newborn baby girl -- and here they were opening their home to a group of hungry med students. I last saw him when I was Dean at Ohio State, after he delivered a riveting lecture on his endostatin work. We chatted in my office afterwards for at least an hour as he regaled me with his stories of his life at Ohio State and his growing up in Cleveland as the son of a Rabbi. Judah was always the same wonderful man -- wise, gracious, humble, courageous and absolutely brilliant in the way he framed his thoughts about science and lived his passion for patients. He had all the solid values of his beloved father and also seemed to have inherited his heart. I feel like I lost someone special; I surely know the world has.
With the greatest sympathy, I offer my condolences to his dear family whom he so adored.
Bernadine Healy, M.D.
January 16, 2008
I had the honor of working in Dr. Folkman's laboratory from 1972-1976 during the day and worked on my college degree at night. I went on to a Physician Assistant program.
Dr. Folkman was an inspiration. A tireless worker for the good of mankind. A nice person. An incredible teacher of medicine and surgery. I still remember vividly his presentation of appendicitis to his surgical residents on rounds at Children's Hospital.
As a going away gift, the lab gave me a book of Karsh Portraits, along with well wishes, written on a blank page. Over the years I have added articles about Dr. Folkman and others who I had the privilege to know at the lab. Saddened by his passing, I will add his obituary as the final article. He will be missed.
My condolences to his family.
Steven Fleit
January 16, 2008
Dr. Folkman has left an indelible mark on our world. His teaching and mentorship have established a legacy of compassion and perseverence that we have all inherited. He will not be forgotten.
Paul Beaudry
January 16, 2008
My deepest condolences go out to Dr Folkman's family on his untimely passing. I had the privilege to hear several of his lectures while a student at Harvard Medical School and more recently and regard him as one of the most visionary thinkers in modern translational biomedical research. His untiring dedication to bring angiogenesis research into the main stream has left a huge mark on many fields, including my own of gynecology.
Nicholas Cataldo
January 16, 2008
Doctor Judah Folkman was a true physician and a visionary scientist, he will be remembered with awe and greatly missed. He had a unique gift to generate ideas and a gift for appreciation of new findings. He has left a deep mark in minds and hearts, alike.
Olga Volpert
January 16, 2008
I had the great honor & privilege of working with Dr. Folkman in 1963 when he arrived at Salem Hospital, Salem, Ma. (North Shore Medical Center) as a MA General Surgical resident. I was a young R.N. in the Operating Room and was impressed by his intelligence, kindness & humble demeanor. He was well-loved & admired by everyone he came in contact with.
Years later when I met him again at a lecture, he actually remembered me & my friend Dottie & invited us to visit him at his laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital. My regret is that we never made the visit.
I have faith in his work & believe that someday his research will find the cure for cancer.
Linda Moustakis
January 16, 2008
Judah was my teacher and friend. I first met Judah as a member of Harvard Medical School class of 1967 clerking on the BCH Harvard 5th. He was the teaching resident and gave us seven sessions of practical advice that a house officer could use to help patients. In essence, Dr. Folkman distilled the critical times in dealing with lilfe and death situations and what to look for and perform when time was critical. After I completed my internship, I contacted Judah and told him that he notes saved indirectly 8-10 patients. When I returned to Boston, we became friends. Of course, he took no credit in his indirect saves. But we all knew the impact he had on students and patients. His insights and inspritation have helped many patients and guided a corps of health care providers. He will be deeply missed
Donald Putnoi
January 16, 2008
I remember vividly when I first heard about angiogenesis and Dr. Judah Folkman: I was a sophomore in high school, and having been assigned to write a paper on any science issue, I stumbled upon an article in a science magazine describing the new wave of anti-angiogenesis drugs. Fascinated, I delved deeper into the topic. After the completion of my paper, though, my curiosity wasn’t quenched: I read more about Dr. Folkman’s career and how his courage and persistency had made a difference in the lives of so many people.

The very next summer, I found myself conducting research at Stony Brook University on angiogenesis-related topics. It was my first experience with research, and it made me quiver knowing that I was following in the steps of such a giant. I continued my work at Texas Tech University, ultimately spending two summers researching angiogenesis. Throughout this time, Dr. Folkman remained my role model: his dedication and persistency were inspiring, and tales of his humility, patience, and genuine care for all of his patients touched all of us.

When I started college last year at Harvard, the school Dr. Folkman taught at and loved, I hoped I would one day meet such an amazing person. Though this day never materialized, sadly, Dr. Folkman’s legacy and his influence will continue to live in me. He was a true inspiration to all of us, and his family, the scientific community, and humanity have lost a wonderful person. Condolences to all of his family and loved ones.
Jeremy Hsu
January 16, 2008
While going thru my own bout with cancer I read of Dr. Folkman's work. He gave hope to so many. May he rest in peace.
Linda Brooks
January 16, 2008
Having grown up in Columbus,Ohio, my memories have faded about most of my peers, but, for some reason, my memories are clear, of Judah Folkman and his extraordinary Father. Over the years, as I heard of his achievements, I felt proud to have known him. Now, I extend my sincere condolences to his family for what is a sad, sad loss to all of us. May your memories of him bring you comfort and blessings.
Marcia Fisher Goldsmith
marcia fisher goldsmith
January 16, 2008
Dr. Judah Folkman,
missed by many,
forgotten by none
V.E. de Meijer, MD
January 16, 2008
How many physicians give their patients their home and cell phone numbers with specific instructions to call him whenever they need to speak with him, even if it's just for their comfort? This is the kind of doctor he was. Our condolences are sent to his family. His contributions to the field of surgery and cancer research will last indefinitely.
Jane and Ed
January 16, 2008
The Lydon family felt the complex human genius of Dr. Folkman last winter when Cindy Lydon was being eaten away by metastatic breast cancer and chemotherapy. A case for Avastin? Dr. Folkman returned my call late at night, between planes and international conferences. He took the essentials of Cindy's case, called her Dana Farber doctors, creatively stretched the FDA authorizations for Avastin against her cancer. We have no doubt that he extended Cindy's good days and lifted the spirits of all who struggled with her. This was an visionary with a bedside manner. Praise God for the gifts that Dr. Folkman shared with such relentless science, energy, warmth and healing generosity. Thank you, Dr. Folkman.
Christopher Lydon
January 16, 2008
The Board of Trustees, Faculty and Staff of Boston Biomedical Research Institute mourn the passing of our esteemed colleague and Trustee, M. Judah Folkman. BBRI has lost a brilliant, thoughtful, wise, compassionate and witty Trustee, and the world has lost a truly great man. Millions of lives have been, and will be, saved from the ravages of cancer because of Dr. Folkman’s extraordinary brilliance and dedication, and his life’s work was the epitome of the Hebrew concept, tikkun olam (repairing or perfecting the world). Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family.
Charles Emerson, Jr., Ph.D.
January 16, 2008
I am a former employee of Dr. Folkman. I worked for him for 11 years in his lab at Children's Hospital. I created scientific slides and print materials for his lectures and papers. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work by his side for those years. Even though I was not a researcher, just a support person, not a day went by when he did not offer his most genuine thanks for the work I did. He always said thanks and was genuinely astonished with my work. He also allowed me to work a flexible schedule, which greatly supported me in raising my daughter as a single parent. I will never forget his immense generosity.
His support and genuine whole hearted appreciation of his colleges and employees was truly amazing. I will never forget him.
My deepest sympathy to his loving wife, family and his friends.
Lori DeSantis
January 16, 2008
Richard H. Herrick
January 16, 2008
Dr. Folkman was a gift from G-d to the world of science and society as a whole. A man of intellect, grace and charm, may his memory be ever for a blessing.
Daniel Krueger
January 16, 2008
My deepest, deepest condolences to the family, friends, and beloved colleagues of Dr. Folkman. I never had the good fortune to meet him personally, but my indirect connections to him allowed me to observe and benefit from his tireless and inspiring passion for science and teaching. I especially enjoyed seeing how he interacted with students at various conferences and symposia, with such grace and humility that belied his amazing reputation and accomplishments.

As a member of the scientific community inspired by his work on angiogenesis, I am grateful that humanity was blessed with Dr. Folkman and his contributions -- I just wish it could have been for many, many more years.
Andy Putnam
January 16, 2008
How very blessed we are that your loved one lived and I thank GOD for his time on earth. His contributions to mankind through his work has given others a reference to continue research for a cure to the dreaded disease of cancer. His life has indirectly affected the lives of so many, even those yet unborn.

My sincere condolences in your families loss but, it is our loss also. May he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
Kim White
January 16, 2008
I sat at my kitchen table and cried as I read the obituary for Dr. Folkman in my morning newspaper. My sister-in-law, Terri Wall, who passed away November 8, 2007 from colon cancer that had metasized to the liver, was given six more months of life from the use of Avastin. Those extra months allowed her to see her five year old daughter turn six. She just missed, by only week, her seven year old son, turning eight, but she was still able to make plans to buy his birthday present. Her presence was very much alive on his birthday. My brother was given six more months to spend with the love of his life. My family and I will be forever grateful for Dr. Folkman's research.
Pat Wall
January 16, 2008
Our family's condolences to Dr. Folkman's family. I remember Marjorie fondly from our lessons at the conservatory, and also how kind Mrs. Folkman was with my inquiry regarding an ill friend. We didn't have the privilege of meeting Dr. Folkman personally, but his work and approach are clearly inspiring to us all, and will continue to be so for generations to come.

Tanya Bartevyan
musician and interdisciplinary researcher
Tanya Bartevyan
January 16, 2008
The world has lost both a Tzadik
and a Mensch.
Shalom Dr. Folkman
January 16, 2008
sincerest sympathy to the Folkman family for their loss of such a wonderful man.
Kevin Pare'
January 16, 2008
My deepest sympathy to Dr. Folkman's family, friends, and patients. I have admired Dr. Folkman and been inspired by him since I first met him in the early 90's at The Childrens Hospital. His tale about the fine line between perseverance and stubborness, and his proud story about his granddaughter in kindergarten convincing her classmate that she could most definately become a doctor, will stay with me forever. I believe my sister is alive today due to his dedication to cancer research. Many thanks.
Bea Siebert
January 16, 2008
A great man RIP.
M. Knoxs
January 16, 2008
Judah was a respected classmate of mine at Harvard Medical School and a very popular friend to all of his classmates. It was humbling to see when I arrived, bewildered at the medical school, that he already had a high power research lab functioning. Wow! His acheivements extend to my field of of ophthalmology, producing effective therapy for macular degeneration. Many will keep their vision because of Judah.
Richard Simmons
January 16, 2008
My mother was one of the patients in the initial phases of research for Dr. Folkman's new treatments. While it didn't work for her, knowing that she was helping others by undergoing the new treatments made her last months easier to bear--for her and for us.
CDG
January 16, 2008
Met him,had dinner with him, have picture with him. He was a genius. We all will miss this wonderful person.
Mr & Mrs Lank
January 16, 2008
I worked on Division 37 at Children's Hospital from 1976-1980 and remember Dr. Folkman well. He was a wonderful man.

Ironically his life began in Cleveland where I am reading about his contributions to the world.

My condolences.
Lynn Katz Danzig
January 16, 2008
Thomas Widgeon
January 16, 2008
Thank you and now rest in peace.You have done a great deal.
Henryk Zaleski (USN-Ret)
January 16, 2008
I just read Dr. Folkman's obituary. I never met him but was so very happy to have read about this great man. I believe I am a 3 year cancer survivor because of all he gave to medical science. Thank you with all my heart Dr. Folkman.
Claudette J. LeRoux-Bolduc
January 15, 2008
LINDA TRACY
January 15, 2008
This is truly a shock and a huge loss.
I send my heartfelt sympathies to his family & friends. Dr. Folkman has changed the cancer world forever. All will benefit from his work & all will be grateful. He was a totally approachable physician with a calm & welcoming demeanor. We lost a great pioneer today. I will keep his family in my prayers, S.L.
S L
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