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The one hundred honoree: Michael Milken

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Michael Milken

Mass General Giving

In 1993, after 20 years of supporting research on other diseases, financier and philanthropist Michael Milken was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Told he might not live beyond a year, he founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic organization for prostate cancer research. Since then, prostate cancer death rates have plunged and government funding for its research has greatly expanded — helped by the foundation’s advocacy and its grants to 200 institutions, including the Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The foundation’s grant supports major research programs by Matthew Smith, MD, PhD, Medical Director of Genitourinary Oncology, on survivorship in prostate cancer and that of Cancer Center Director Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, whose advances in circulating tumor cell (CTC) chip technology are likely to yield tools that predict disease progression and detect the effectiveness of treatment.

Driving Mike’s philanthropy is his hope that by 2016, cancer will no longer be a cause of death. He also supports medical innovations through FasterCures, the Milken Family Foundation and the Melanoma Research Alliance. Fortune magazine called him “The Man Who Changed Medicine.”