George J. Bosl, MD, is an Emeritus Member of the Genitourinary Service, Department of Medicine, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). In his decades of service to MSK, Dr. Bosl was recognized nationally and internationally as a clinician, researcher, administrator, teacher, and leader in the field of medical oncology.
Dr. Bosl served as Director of the Medical Oncology/Hematology training program, Chief of the Genitourinary Oncology Service, Head of the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology, and Associate Physician-in-Chief before he became Chair of the Department of Medicine in 1997, a position he held for 18 years. In addition to his nearly two decades heading MSK’s Department of Medicine during a time of sustained growth of clinical research, Dr. Bosl was Associate Cancer Center Director for Clinical and Translational Research and the first chair of the MSK Research Council. He retired from clinical practice in 2017 and rejoined the staff in July 2019 as the MSK ombudsman, providing a confidential pathway for staff to discuss sensitive issues of potential conflict-of-interest issues and topics related to career and workplace counseling.
He was a pioneer in the curative treatment of germ cell tumors, one of the major advances in 20th-century medical oncology. Of his more than 400 publications, his seminal contributions included incorporating etoposide (and removing bleomycin) in cisplatin combination chemotherapy for the treatment of testicular cancer, a protocol that remains a standard treatment regimen. Dr. Bosl also developed a risk-adapted therapy model to predict risk outcomes for germ cell tumors, which ultimately led to the development of the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group model based on his MSK model. He was also an early translational researcher; with R.S.K. Chaganti, PhD, in the Sloan Kettering Institute, he pioneered the description of isochromosome 12p as a marker of germ cell tumors and carried clonal molecular studies to demonstrate that many non-germ cell malignancies were of primary germ cell tumor origin. His pioneering work on the late effects of chemotherapy on both renal and gonadal function and cardiovascular consequences led him to establish MSK’s Adult Survivorship Program. He also headed MSK’s paradigm-advancing work leading to laryngeal preservation using systemic therapy for patients with head and neck tumors.
Dr. Bosl earned many honors, including the Patrick M. Byrne Chair in Clinical Oncology at MSK in 1995, the 2005 MSK Excellence in Medicine Award, the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology Distinguished Achievement Award, and the Mastership designation from the American College of Physicians in 2016. He was the primary mentor to many fellows, including MSK medical oncologists, as well as countless others in positions of leadership in medical oncology worldwide.