The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is sad to share news of the recent passing of a giant in the field of genitourinary (GU) medical oncology, Dr. Nicholas J. Vogelzang.
Dr. Vogelzang (or Nick, as many of his colleagues knew him) dedicated his professional life to researching and treating rare forms of cancer. Those who worked with Dr. Vogelzang, or knew him personally, understood that he was warm, caring, professional, and knowledgeable to a fault, and simply an amazing physician and researcher.
Dr. Vogelzang was known for his pioneering work in the world of GU oncology, providing extraordinary leadership in the field as well as in the development of clinical trials and therapeutics.
A dedicated researcher, Dr. Vogelzang led multiple groundbreaking clinical trials aimed at identifying new therapies and treatment approaches for cancer patients, investigating new therapies for GU cancers such as metastatic kidney cancer, prostate cancer, and metastatic bladder cancer, as well as for mesothelioma.
Dr. Vogelzang helped organize GU oncologists, working to ensure that the field would have the necessary multi-disciplinary emphasis. He was particularly proud of the accomplishments of young investigators and those whose careers and research successes he had helped nurture over the years in treating GU cancers.
Early in his career, Dr. Vogelzang served as Professor of Medicine and Urologic Surgery at the University of Chicago, serving as Chair of Genitourinary Oncology as well as Director for the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.
Dr. Vogelzang became the first editor of the Textbook of Genitourinary Oncology, the first major textbook to focus on the field of GU oncology from the combined perspectives of the molecular biologist, pathologist, oncologist, and urologist, remaining its lead editor until recently.
Dr. Vogelzang was a co-founder of the Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) in 1990 and served on its Board of Directors from its founding until his recent retirement in March of this year.
In 2004, Dr. Vogelzang moved to Nevada and became Head of Genitourinary Oncology and Clinical Professor of Medicine for the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas and Reno. Dr. Vogelzang joined Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN) in 2009 as a medical oncologist and became the Director of the Nevada Cancer Institute.
Dr. Vogelzang would later also serve as the Chair and Medical Director of the Developmental Therapeutics and Genitourinary Committees for US Oncology Research.
Dr. Vogelzang was a noted lecturer who authored or co-authored over 400 journal articles, in addition to numerous book chapters and abstracts. He was the principal or co-principal investigator in multiple clinical trials that led to the regulatory approval of several new cancer therapeutics including atezolizumab, pemetrexed, abiraterone, mitoxantrone, and radium 223 dichloride. And, Dr. Vogelzang’s work and progress in cancer research has been featured in news outlets such as 60 Minutes, The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, USA Today and The New York Times.
But most importantly, Dr. Vogelzang was highly-regarded by his peers and patients alike in the cancer community for his clinical practice, research efforts, and career-long dedication to advancing cancer therapies and treatments. Dr. Vogelzang built an amazing legacy in oncology research and care, one that can be measured in lives transformed, among both his colleagues and his patients.
His lifelong focus on mentorship impacted the lives of countless peers, as Dr. Vogelzang engaged his fellow researchers and clinicians with warmth and thoroughness throughout his career, furthering the work of medical oncology along the way.
The entire PCF community honors and celebrates Dr. Vogelzang’s life and work as we mourn his passing.