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The one hundred honoree: Richard Welch’s Treatment Team

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Richard Welch’s Treatment Team

Mass General Giving

In 2008, at age 52, Richard Welch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was treated by a Mass General team led by Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, Theodore S. Hong, MD, and Eunice L. Kwak, MD, PhD.

Richard first met with Dr. Warshaw for a second opinion two days before undergoing surgery at another hospital. Dr. Warshaw proposed more tests and a different surgical strategy. His two colleagues, Dr. Hong and Dr. Kwak, agreed with his recommendations.

The location of Richard’s tumor made surgery an unlikely option, and previous radiation treatment for another illness restricted his tolerance for radiation therapy. Drs. Hong and Kwak devised an aggressive neoadjuvant treatment plan incorporating proton beam treatments andan innovative chemotherapy cocktail. Richard’s tumor shrank by 50 percent. Dr. Warshaw then surgically removed the remaining tumor.

“This uncommon team has achieved uncommon results in battling my deadly disease,” says Richard. “I am one of the rare pancreatic cancer victims who is likely to make it.”