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The one hundred honoree: Dwight Vicks

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Dwight Vicks

Mass General Giving

In 1991, when Jean Vicks (pictured here) was diagnosed with medullary thyroid carcinoma, few options existed for treating this rare disease. Now, Jean and other patients with thyroid cancer metastasis have new hope, thanks in no small part to her husband, Dwight Vicks.

Dwight brought passion and business leadership skills to the challenge of expediting a cure. He is the driving force behind the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG). Launched in 2007, the nonprofit engages leading researchers on five continents in the first interdisciplinary consortium focused on developing clinical trials for thyroid cancer.

Jean, who is in treatment at the Mass General Cancer Center, recently testified at a Federal Drug Administration hearing in support of the first drug to be approved for her disease. ITOG members participated in its clinical trials and their work will likely yield at least two more new treatments for thyroid cancer.

“Dwight’s unflagging optimism and can-do spirit have pervaded the organization and kept a group normally better at competing than collaborating focused on their important task,” says Robert F. Gagel, MD, head of the Division of Internal Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center. “And the paradigm that Dwight has championed, cooperation across multiple medical disciplines, can apply to other rare tumors.”