Dorothy M. K. Keefe, MD, FRACP, FRCP, MBBS, was the recipient of MASCC’s 2014 Distinguished Service Award (DSA). The DSA, MASCC’s most prestigious award, recognizes meritorious service and outstanding contributions to the society and its mission.
Dorothy is the Clinical Ambassador for the Transforming Health initiative in South Australia, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Adelaide, and a Senior Medical Oncologist at Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre. She graduated in Medicine from the University of London in 1986, migrated to Australia, and became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) in 1996. She received her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Adelaide in 1999, with a thesis titled, “The Effect of Cytotoxic Chemotherapy on the Mucosa of the Small Intestine.” She has continued to conduct research in toxicities of cancer treatment, particularly gastrointestinal mucositis and how it relates to other toxicities. Her laboratory work concerns whole-gut damage induced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and the efficacy of new agents in prevention and treatment and she has authored over100 peer-reviewed publications in this area.
Dorothy has served as a Board member and as Past-President of MASCC for two terms. She has been an integral part of many MASCC Annual Meetings, in terms of both planning and presentation. Dorothy was the champion of MASCC’s highly successful Mucositis Study Group and continues as an active member. She was instrumental in producing the MASCC/ISOO Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Mucositis Secondary to Cancer Therapy.” She is also a member of MASCC Study Groups on Palliative Care and Skin Toxicities. Many of her fellows and trainees have become highly engaged MASCC members, Study Group leaders, and a Past President of ISOO.
Dorothy travels extensively and is often a featured speaker at international meetings. She is a tireless advocate for MASCC, its mission, its Annual Meeting, and other supportive care meetings around the world. Also, she has worked to forge supportive care links throughout Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. She is passionate in her dedication to the supportive care needs of people with cancer, their families, and their caregivers. At the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Dorothy was awarded the Public Service Medal for “Outstanding service in the areas of Public Health, Medical Research and Oncology.”
Dorothy manages all of this while keeping up her multiple professional appointments, as well as being a busy mother and wife. Moreover, she accomplishes all of it with her trademark humor and good grace. MASCC is grateful to Dorothy for her numerous contributions to the Society and to diverse areas of supportive cancer care. She is an inspiration to all.