LAWRENCE H. EINHORN, M.D.
Indiana University Distinguished Professor
LIVESTRONG Chair in Oncology
Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D., a living legend in the field of medical oncology, developed a cure for testicular cancer in 1974 and has focused his career on alleviating the harsh side effects of treatment for survivors, many of whom are now in their 60s and 70s.
He became the first medical oncologist at Indiana University when he joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 1973. At that time, testicular cancer was the leading cause of cancer death among men between the ages of 15 to 35, and IU led the nation in surgical intervention to remove the cancer. However, when surgery failed, these young men turned to Dr. Einhorn to treat the spread of the disease. Einhorn’s unprecedented achievement – adding the experimental, platinum-based drug Cisplatin to the chemotherapy regimen – turned the research world upside down and forever altered the patient experience. Today, 95 percent of patients with testicular cancer can be cured.
His incredible discovery – which is still the only cure discovered for metastasis of a solid tumor – earned Einhorn international recognition and also ensured his meteoric rise in the world of oncology. He assumed the title of Distinguished Professor at IU in 1987, the highest rank bestowed upon Indiana University faculty, and became the first LIVESTRONG Foundation Chair in Oncology in 2005.
Einhorn has followed his groundbreaking research with continued innovations, heading up the country’s pre-eminent germ-cell tumor treatment program at IU. He’s also assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers to explore the ways in which platinum-based drugs might help treat lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in men and women. Platinum-based treatments are standard now in 10 cancers including ovarian, bladder, lung and head and neck cancers.
A 1965 graduate of Indiana University, Einhorn attended medical school at the University of Iowa and completed fellowship training in oncology at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston and at IU School of Medicine.
Among his numerous awards and honors, Einhorn received the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in 1983. In 1985, he joined the elite Association of American Physicians, and, in 2001, he became the first clinical investigator to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences.
The Milken Foundation awarded him its Distinguished Clinician Award in 1989, and Einhorn received the Kettering Prize for cancer research from the General Motors Foundation in 1992. Einhorn also received the prestigious David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award in 2000 and the Ted Couch Cancer Research Award from the Moffitt Cancer Center in 2010. He is the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and Indiana University, and he served as president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology from 2000 to 2001.
The world-renowned scholar and scientist also has been a keynote speaker at dozens of national and international conferences, has published more than 450 papers and 75 book chapters, and remains a dedicated clinician and teacher.
“Larry’s influence on oncology education nationally and internationally is also an impressive accomplishment,” says Patrick J. Loehrer, Sr., MD, former director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center who trained under Einhorn at Indiana University. “Many of the fellows Larry trained now serve in positions of influence and direct programs in cancer care worldwide.”
A father of modern-day oncology, Lawrence H. Einhorn has changed how doctors treat many cancers. He is not only a guiding light to an entire generation of cancer researchers, but a hero to legions of grateful patients.