Leading cancer expert dies suddenly following routine yellow fever vaccination

A leading cancer expert, who was described as a "pioneer" in his field by Prince William, has died suddenly ...

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 4:39 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 4:39 PM

A leading cancer expert, who was described as a "pioneer" in his field by Prince William, has died suddenly after receiving a routine yellow fever vaccination.

Martin Gore, 67, died Thursday morning after receiving the vaccine, which is recommended to travelers visiting sub-Saharan Africa, most of South America, and parts of Central American and the Caribbean.

Deaths and fatalities

Diseases and disorders

Health and medical

Infectious diseases

Society

Cancer

Communicable disease control

Medical fields and specialties

Oncology

Public health

Vaccination and immunization

London's Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, where Gore worked for more than 30 years, expressed its "deep sadness" following the announcement of his death.

"Martin was at the heart of The Royal Marsden's life and work in research, treatment and the training of our new oncologists," the hospital said in a statement. "His contribution as medical director for 10 years, a trustee of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, and as a clinician is unparalleled."

Professor Mel Greaves from the Institute of Cancer Research, described Gore as "a force of nature, very energetic, clear-thinking and compassionate." While Allyson Kate, president of the charity Ovarian Cancer Action, said: "He was a giant in the field and a humorous colleague. There is no doubt that professor Gore improved the lives of many. He will be greatly missed."

Gore's death casts light on the heightened risk associated with the yellow fever vaccine and the over-60 demographic. Typical side effects of the vaccine include headaches, muscle pain, mild fever and soreness at the injection site, according to the NHS.

However, the vaccinations can, in rare circumstances, cause more severe side effects, including allergic reactions and problems affecting the brain or organs. The NHS estimates that these reactions occur less than 10 times for every million doses.

The WHO reported that all cases of viscerotropic disease -- a rare but dangerous side effect of yellow fever vaccinations where an illness similar to wild-type yellow fever proliferates in multiple organs -- have occurred in primary vaccines, starting two to five days after vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the US government's health protection agency -- warns that viscerotropic disease can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome or multi-organ failure and death in close to 60% of cases.

Martin Goodier, assistant professor in immunology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, nevertheless noted that severe reactions are rare, and the vaccine remains "extremely effective."

"The yellow fever vaccine is extremely effective in protection against this infection and has been used worldwide for many years," he told CNN. "Because of the widespread use of the vaccine we can say with certainty that such adverse events are rare. The benefits to health of vaccination far outweigh any potential risk."

The WHO also told CNN: "While the risk of adverse effects is higher in persons aged over 60 years, the overall risk remains low." The organization nevertheless noted that a "risk-benefit assessment" for individuals aged over 60 should be performed, taking into account the risk of acquiring the disease.

Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, added: "Individuals are advised to have the vaccine if they are traveling to tropical and sub-tropical places where yellow fever is known or suspected to exist."

He noted that while the vaccine is "very safe," serious side effects have a greater risk of developing in the over-60s and in very young infants. Notably, he pointed to reports which suggest that the risk of developing "vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease" increase to around 12 cases per million vaccine doses used, up from three cases per million in the under-60 age group.

However, he stated that it still "makes sense" for individuals in "at risk" age groups to get vaccinated if the risk of exposure to the virus is very high.

Gore was an oncologist for more than 35 years, and first joined the Royal Marsden in 1978 as a senior house officer. He was appointed medical director of the trust in 2006, and held the role for 10 years until he stepped down in January 2016.

His other notable roles include acting as the chairman of the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee at the Department of Health between 2006 and 2012, being a senior investigator at the National Institute for Health Research between 2008 and 2011, and being appointed commissioner of the Commission on Human Medicines at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Gore also received a lifetime achievement award in 2015 from Prince William, who is president of the Royal Marsden. Commenting on Gore's contribution at the time, the Prince said: "I've found Martin a source of inspiration -- his infectious enthusiasm and passion for his work, and his obvious compassion and kindness for his patients, their family and friends, reinforces my knowledge that the Royal Marsden is a truly special place.

"He's one of the pioneers of 20th century cancer care, and a friend, colleague and trusted doctor to many."

Huntsville
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Florence
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Fayetteville
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Scottsboro
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16310

Reported Deaths: 590
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2085112
Jefferson167397
Montgomery144634
Marshall6609
Tuscaloosa63212
Lee52632
Franklin4986
Shelby47019
Tallapoosa41063
Butler39113
Chambers34024
Madison3154
Elmore3007
Baldwin2829
Walker2821
DeKalb2403
Etowah24011
Dallas2323
Coffee2191
Lowndes21610
Morgan2111
Sumter2106
Autauga1923
Houston1854
Bullock1763
Pike1730
Colbert1612
Calhoun1523
Marengo1506
Choctaw1487
Russell1480
Lauderdale1452
Hale1416
Wilcox1327
Barbour1301
Clarke1282
Randolph1247
Marion11711
St. Clair1081
Pickens964
Dale960
Talladega963
Chilton931
Greene914
Cullman880
Limestone860
Winston770
Covington751
Jackson742
Bibb711
Henry702
Macon672
Crenshaw662
Washington656
Blount531
Escambia483
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Perry360
Conecuh351
Coosa341
Monroe342
Cherokee332
Clay272
Lamar210
Cleburne131
Fayette130
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 21285

Reported Deaths: 353
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson482660
Shelby4615105
Trousdale13924
Rutherford109022
Sumner84345
Hamilton67015
Bledsoe6081
Williamson53210
Tipton4283
Putnam4285
Robertson4262
Lake4130
Wilson3828
Knox3565
Out of TN3394
Bedford2704
Montgomery2583
Rhea1970
Hardeman1920
Madison1742
Loudon1370
McMinn13614
Macon1193
Cheatham1140
Cumberland1111
Fayette1102
Dickson1070
Bradley1051
Blount893
Maury810
Washington750
Unassigned750
Sevier752
Coffee660
Wayne630
Gibson601
Sullivan602
Monroe592
Lauderdale561
Hickman540
Dyer490
Franklin491
Greene482
Anderson401
Marion371
DeKalb370
Grundy321
Hawkins312
Smith301
Hamblen302
Haywood302
Henry300
Marshall291
Jefferson280
Obion281
White280
Carroll271
Weakley260
Overton250
Meigs250
Lincoln250
Lawrence240
Warren220
Cocke200
Carter191
Morgan170
Campbell171
Cannon170
Jackson170
Crockett161
Roane160
Johnson150
Polk150
Henderson140
Humphreys131
Chester130
Perry130
Sequatchie130
Giles120
McNairy120
Fentress120
Hardin112
Scott110
Stewart100
Claiborne80
Houston80
Benton71
Grainger60
Clay60
Decatur50
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Moore30
Unicoi30
Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events