I am including this as “family” news.  This doctor was an innovator in using new techniques for radiation therapy of the prostate, which have now become standard.  My husband was a direct benefactor of his work at Sloan Kettering.  May he R.I.P.


 Froom the STANFORD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Steven Leibel, MD, the medical director of the Stanford Cancer Center, died Feb. 7 of a heart attack while vacationing in Hawaii. He was 61.

Leibel came to Stanford in 2004 as the first medical director of the newly opened cancer center. He oversaw the roughly 350 cancer specialists at the center, including physicians in medical, surgical and radiation oncology and other health-care professionals who work with cancer patients and their families.


A San Francisco native, Leibel received his MD from UC-San Francisco where he also completed residency training in radiation oncology. He served on the faculties at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and at UCSF before moving to New York in 1988 to join the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. He became chair of that department in 1998.

While at Sloan-Kettering, Leibel helped develop extremely precise therapies for treating cancers of the prostate and the brain. This work involved sophisticated new techniques in radiotherapy known as 3-D conformal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy. These techniques more precisely targeted tumors with high-dose radiation while sparing normal tissues. The result has been a significant improvement in cure rates for some cancers, particularly prostate cancer.

Richard Hoppe, MD, professor and chair of radiation oncology at Stanford, said the radiation technique Leibel advocated has since become standard care in prostate cancer. He was one of the most widely respected radiation oncologists in the field, he said.