Emil Freireich, Groundbreaking Cancer Researcher, Dies at 93

Dr. Emil Frerich, A tireless cancer physician and researcher who helped in the treatment of childhood leukemia, which dramatically changed the lives of patients expected to survive, died February 1 at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Where he worked. Since 1965. He was 93.

Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Debra Ann Fryrich-Beer. The hospital said they had tested positive for Kovid-19 but it has not yet been determined as the cause of death.

Dr. Frerichs was a variable, magnetic and sometimes abrasive man who spent his career National Cancer Institute And Md anderson Six decades of new treatments for cancer and hundreds of doctors training their way.

“He researched all cancers, guided and guided the development of protocols, implemented them and published the results adopted worldwide,” Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, M.D. Anderson on leukemia department chair.

When dr. In 1955, acute child leukemia was considered a death sentence when Frerich (pronounced FRY-rike) began work at the NCI in Bethesda, Md. Entering the ward where the children were being treated, he recalled his bleeding because there were virtually no platelets in his blood, disc-shaped cells that clot the blood.

It was like a slaughterhouse, its owner, Dr. C. Gordon Zubrod, Told him

“They get out of their ears, out of their skin,” Dr. Fryrich described the author Malcolm Gladwell in “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” (2013). “There was blood on everything. The nurses would come to work in their white uniforms in the morning and go home soaked in blood. “

A hematologist and oncologist Drs. Frerichs tested his hypothesis that the lack of platelets was causing bleeding with some children mixing their own blood.

“Will it behave normally?” He said in an NCI oral history interview Project in 1997. “Enough, it did.”

Further tests, conducted at the Cancer Institute to explain his suspicions, vindicated him.

But he had another problem: the blood the children were receiving lacked platelets to get the blood they needed, as it was at least 48 hours old. Platelets were degraded and became useless.

Dr. Frerichs successfully argued for the use of freshly donated blood that could be transfused as quickly as possible and not destroyed in the institution’s blood bank. A minister who was the father of one of the patients once brought in his 20 circles to donate blood.

Looking for a more effective way to deliver platelets to their patients, Drs. Frerichs began designing a machine to remove platelets from white and red blood cells. He soon found an unexpected ally in George Judson, an IBM engineer whose son had leukemia and showed up at the institute to offer his expertise.

Soon they were collaborating on a Constant-flow blood separator That proved to be far more efficient at delivering platelets than blood transfusion. (The separator, which uses a high speed centrifuge, Was patented in 1966.)

But Dr. Frereich’s most important, lasting achievement was to use a combination of drugs to remove leukemia. He explored options in chemotherapy with several NCI colleagues Dr. Emile Frey III, Who was known as Tom.

He launched an aggressive attack on childhood leukemia by preparing a cocktail of four drugs, which would be administered simultaneously – a three-drug technique similar to that used to treat tuberculosis – so that every single one of the physiology of cancer Attack different aspect. Cells.

“It was crazy,” Dr. Fryrich told Mr. Gladwell. “But smart and right. I thought about it and I knew it would work. It was like platelets. It had to work! “

But not without risk and worry. Almost a few children died of drugs. Critics for experimenting with their younger patients were Dr. Friedrich called the Inhumans.

“Instead, 90 percent missed out immediately,” he told USA Today in 2015. It was magical. “But temporary. One round of cocktails was not enough to eradicate all cancers, so Dr. Frerichs and his team treated him with drugs monthly for over a year.”

When he and Drs. Fry Received the prestigious Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award In 1972, the percentage of children living at least five years after diagnosis of leukemia was 30 percent. Today – According to the American Cancer Society, Drs. Frerichs and Drs. Frey using leading regimens said that the survival rate is 90 percent. Dr. Fray died in 2013.

Emil J. Frerichs was born on March 16, 1927 in Chicago. Her mother, Mary (Klein) Frerich, worked long hours at a sweatshop after her husband David, when Emil died 2. She was placed under the care of an Irish maid who became her surrogate mother. After the age of 9, her mother remarried and quit her job; She and her new husband sacked the maid.

“I never forgive my mother for that,” Dr. Fryrich told Mr. Gladwell.

He excelled in physics in high school, where he won first prize in the science competition. His physics teacher encouraged him to go to college where his goal was to be a family doctor, like the person treating his family.

“He worked without anything and always wore a suit and tie and always looked so dignified,” Dr. Frerichs Told online publication Of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2015.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in medicine from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1947, he also received a medical degree from the University of College of Medicine in 1949.

His internship at Cook County Hospital, also ended in Chicago, when he saw a nurse putting a patient with heart failure in the so-called “dyeing room” instead of placing him in a ward, where Drs. He was treated by Frerich. He was labeled a “Sankatmochan”.

He then made his residency at the nearby Presbyterian Hospital (now part of Rush University Medical Center), then moved to Boston for a fellowship at a hospital where he studied anemia. While living there, he met Haroldine Lee Cunningham, a nurse whom he married in 1953.

In 1953, he was inducted into the Army, but was able to join the United States Public Health Service and work at the NCI, which was a part of the National Institutes of Health.

On his first visit, his boss, Drs. Zubrod asked him, “Freraich, what do you do?”

“I’m a hematologist,” Dr. Freraich responded and watched, when Drs. Juberode scratched his head, saying, “Freraich, you should cure acute leukemia in children.”

And I said, “Yes, sir.”

After a decade at the NCI for the treatment of childhood leukemia, Drs. Frerichs (Dr. Frei) was recruited for MD Anderson in 1965. Together they formed the Department of Developmental Therapeutics and hired scientists to develop combinations for various cancers. They used to treat childhood leukemia using adult leukemia, lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease, the same method.

Because of Frerich’s great personality and magnetism, he attracted people from all over the world to study with him, “Dr. Kantarjian said.

Dr. Frerich retired in 2015 but continued to teach and mentor MD Anderson.

In addition to his wife and Ms. Friedrich-Beer, Drs. Frerichs is survived by another daughter, Lindsey Frerichs; Two sons, David and Tom; Six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Dr. Frerichs embarked on an initial battle to cure childhood leukemia, in which he and the NCI team formed a coalition that was “forged under fire”.

To cure cancer, he said: “Motivate people and give them an opportunity to be motivated by people. Nobody likes to be lazy and do nothing. Everyone wants to be important. “

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