Alvaro Morales (urologist)

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Alvaro Morales
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NationalityCanadian
CitizenshipCanada
OccupationUrologist and Surgeon
AwardsQueen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2003

Dr. Alvaro Morales, MD, FRCSC is a Colombian-Canadian urologist, surgeon and Member of the Order of Canada who is noted for his work in the fields of cancer research and testosterone deficiency. He is particularly known for his pioneering work using the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG vaccine) to treat bladder cancer.

BCG Immunotherapy

In the 1970s, while working in the Department of Urology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Morales developed a hypothesis considering the use of BCG, a live tuberculosis vaccine, to treat non muscle invasive urothelial bladder cancer (NMIBC). The therapy involved introducing BCG to infect the bladder, provoking an immune system response sufficiently robust to eliminate some tumors without the use of chemicals.

BCG immunotherapy was found to be effective in up to 2/3 of superficial tumors, and in randomized trials has been shown to be superior to standard chemotherapy.[1] The treatment became the first therapy approved for use by the FDA against against solid NMIBC tumors[2] and remains the "gold standard" treatment more than 40 years later.[3]

His research on the treatment, published in 1976, has been described as "the seminal paper on the use of intravesical BCG in human patients"[4] and was hailed by the Journal of Urology as one of the most important papers on bladder cancer research in the past 100 years.[5]

Awards and recognition

Boards and societies

Morales is a member of numerous international medical boards and societies; he is the former president of both the Canadian Urological Association the Northeastern Section of the American Urological Association. Additionally, he is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American College of Surgeons, American Urological Association and British Urological Association.

He is also an honorary member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Colombian Urological Association and Mexican Urological Society.

Awards

Over the course of his career, Morales has received numerous awards for his medical research and contributions to the fields of oncology and andrology.[6] These have included:

  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, 2003
  • SIU-Yamanouchi Award, 2002
  • Canadian Urological Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999
  • William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology, 1992
  • American Urological Association Distinguished Contributions Award, 1991
  • Dornier Innovative Research Award, American Foundation for Urological Diseases, 1991

In 2011, Morales was made a Member of of the Order of Canada.[7]

References

  1. Lamm DL, Blumenstein BA, Crawford ED, Montie JE, Scardino P, Grossman HB, et al. (October 1991). "A randomized trial of intravesical doxorubicin and immunotherapy with bacille Calmette-Guérin for transitional-cell carcinoma of the bladder". The New England Journal of Medicine. 325 (17): 1205–9. doi:10.1056/NEJM199110243251703. PMID 1922207.
  2. Solinas C, Martinez Chanza N, Awada A, Scatozzi, M (December 2016). "The immune infiltrate in prostate, bladder and testicular tumors: An old friend for new challenges". Cancer Treatment Reviews. 53: 138–45. doi:10.1016/j.ctrv.2016.12.004. PMID 28113097.
  3. Desouky E (July 2020). "Intravesical BCG amid COVID-19: To give or not to give?". Turkish Journal of Urology. 46 (4): 274–6. doi:10.5152/tud.2020.20206.
  4. Fuge O, Vasdev N, Allchorne P, Green J (May 2015). "Immunotherapy for bladder cancer". Research and Reports in Urology. 2015 (7): 65–79. doi:10.2147/RRU.S63447. PMID 26000263.
  5. https://urology.queensu.ca/faculty/alvaro-morales
  6. http://issam.ch/executive/Morales.htm
  7. "Two Queen's Profs to Receive Order of Canada".

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