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Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Awards Cancer Expert One of Three " Colorado Nobels"
Dr. Stephen Withrow, director of the Robert H. and Mary G. Flint Animal Cancer Center and the Stuart Endowed Chair for Oncology, received in May one of three prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Foundation awards. The $25,000 awards, often described as the Colorado version of the Nobel Prize, are given annually to Colorado citizens for lifetime achievements in the arts and humanities, community service, and science and medicine.
"These are extraordinary individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to our community and beyond," said Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Board Chairman Johnston R. Livingston, to an audience of nearly 100 who gathered to fete the honorees. "By recognizing them, we hope not only to draw attention to what they have done, but to inspire others, as well."
The award recognizes Dr. Withrow’s work in developing pioneering cancer treatments for animals – treatments that also show promise in combating human cancer, including breast and bone cancer.
Dr. Withrow's research has led to the development of the "cisplatin sponge" that delivers chemotherapy directly to the site of tumors in animals. This technique is being tested for application in humans, including a less invasive chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. His work in limb-sparing technology includes the development of a special bone replacement material that is proving successful in the treatment of bone cancer.
In addition to his research and clinical accomplishments, Dr. Withrow has been instrumental in developing graduate training programs that have produced a majority of the leading veterinary surgical oncologists in North America and in other countries. International recognition of Dr. Withrow's stature is demonstrated by numerous worldwide speaking engagements. He is the author of the authoritative text in the field of veterinary oncology.
Among Dr. Withrow's prestigious professional affiliations are the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the American College of Veterinary Medicine, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the Veterinary Cancer Society, which he served as president. In addition to awards in teaching and research, he received the prestigious Gaines Award in both Canada and the United States.
For the past 23 years, Dr. Withrow has been a counselor and fundraiser for the Sky High Hope Camp for children with cancer. This camp is one of the most memorable events in the short lives of many of the children. He received the Ronald McDonald House Volunteer of the Year award in 2003 in recognition of these efforts.
Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Withrow established the Animal Cancer Center, now the largest animal cancer center in the word. The center has trained more veterinary surgical, medical and radiation oncologists than any other veterinary institution. The center has developed numerous surgical, radiation therapy and chemotherapy procedures for animals with cancer. The center treats up to 2,000 pets a year with cancer and handles a volume of 10,000 appointments.
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation's award program was created in 1984. Honorees are recommended to the Board of Trustees by panels of past recipients who review nominees from business and community leaders throughout Colorado. The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation is a private, nonprofit Colorado corporation created to enhance the quality of life for residents of Colorado. The focus of the Foundation is to advance excellence in the areas of arts and culture, community service, and science and medicine, through strategic investments resulting in significant and unique progress in these fields. Others honored with the award were Maestra Marin Alsop, music director laureate of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and Noel Cunningham, owner of Strings restaurant and a humanitarian dedicated to hunger relief efforts locally and in Africa.