The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Research Medical Library

Making Cancer History Voices Collection

Emil Frei, III, Interview 1

Descriptive Summary

Collection: Making Cancer History Voices Oral History Collection:
Interviewee: Frei, Emil, III
Interviewer: Brunet, Lesley Williams,
Title: Emil Frei, III Interview 1
Dates: December 18, 2001
Abstract An oral history with Emil Frei, III and Lesley W. Brunet
Collection ID:
Original Format: Audiocassette
Format: 1 streaming video file and 1 interview transcript
Interview Length: 1 hour and 42 minutes
Language: Materials are in English
Repository: Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library,The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Biographical Note

Dr. Emil “Tom” Frei, III, attended St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri before attending Colgate University through the Navy’s V-12 program during WW II. From there, Dr. Frei attended Yale Medical School and graduated in 1948. Dr. Frei also served during the Korean War as a physician. He began his civilian career as the Chief of Medicine at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1955 before moving to MD Anderson in 1965. During his time at MD Anderson, Dr. Frei became the first Head of the Department of Development Therapeutics, which evolved into the Clinical Research Center. He continued at MD Anderson until 1972, upon which time he moved to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. During his career, Dr. Frei has authored many articles regarding the treatment of cancer, particularly the areas of Hodgkin’s disease. He has also been noted for his successful combinations of chemotherapy in children’s leukemia as well as post-surgical chemotherapy treatments. Dr. Frei has also received many awards during his career. Some of them include: Mary Lasker Foundation award (1973); Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award (1978); NIH Distinguished Alumni Award (1990); Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999); Pollin Prize (2003); and AARC Lifetime Achievement Award (2004). In 2007 the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Southern Nevada Chapter held the inaugural Dr. Emil Frei III Symposium, which is a continuing medical education program for oncologists, hematologists and other personnel. Dr. Frei is retired, but continues to serve as Physician-in-Chief, Emeritus, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Interview Abstract

Dr. Emil “Tom” Frei, III, speaks to Lesley W. Brunet about his career during and after MD Anderson, his time in the service, and his work with chemotherapy. The interview took place on December 18, 2001 at the Division of Medicine Conference Room, Faculty Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.


Restrictions on Access

Portions of this interview have been redacted for privacy concerns. Please see Archivist for details.

Restrictions on Use

All requests for copying of materials must be submitted to the Historical Resources Center in writing for approval. All reproductions will be handled by HRC staff

Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained in writing by the Historical Resources Center

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Frei, Emil, 1924-
Freireich, Emil J., 1927-
Zubrod, C. Gordon (Charles Gordon), 1914-
Clark, Randolph Lee, 1906 -
Farber, Sidney
Krakoff, Irwin H.
Loo, Ti Li
LeMaistre, Charles A.
Mendelsohn, John, 1936-
Taft, Robert, 1917-1993
Taylor, H. Grant, 1903-
Subjects (Organizations)
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG)
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center -- history
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Developmental Therapeutics
International Cancer Congress
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
Clinical Trials as Topic
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Remission Induction
Disease-Free Survival
Hodgkin's Disease
Leukemia -- drug therapy
Laboratories, Hospital
Hospital Departments
Patient Isolators
Neoplasms -- prevention and control
Hospitals, Special
Financing, Organized
Oral History
Houston (TX)

Administrative Information


Interview conducted between Emil Frei, III, and Lesley W. Brunet on December 18, 2001, in Houston, Texas

Preferred Citation

Emil Frei, III, Interview 1, December 18, 2001, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Processing Information

Oral history was edited by Elvira Lynn Alayon, UNT Intern, Summer 2011



Click Here to access Oral History