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Press Release
July 20, 2004
Contact: John Nash
(843) 792-0687


Philanthropic gift establishes new endowed chair in cancer research

Charleston, SC (June 8, 2004) -- The Medical University of South Carolina has established a new endowed chair dedicated to the research of genitourinary cancer, thanks to a philanthropic gift from a resident of Hilton Head Island and his children.

Mr. Juergen Brockmann, along with his children, Veronica Erston, Regina Cialdini and Thorsten Brockmann, made their gift to the university's Department of Urology in memory of their late wife and mother Karin, who died in April 2003 after a long illness.

Mrs. Brockmann's physician, Urology Chairman Thomas Keane, M.D., said that the Brockmann Endowed Chair in Urologic Oncology would enable the department to strengthen and accelerate its investigations of genitourinary cancer.

"The Brockmann family has provided us with an invaluable resource in our fight against cancer," said Keane. "This endowed chair will enable us to attract and retain a world-renowned researcher to pursue new treatments and ultimately a cure for genitourinary malignancies, which includes bladder, prostate, renal and other genitourinary cancers. In that light, 'generous' doesn't begin to describe the contribution the Brockmanns have made to this department."

Beyond establishing the endowed chair fund, the Brockmann family also has decided to provide the Urology Department with additional funding on an annual basis to support high-priority research projects.

Approximately 81,400 Americans died of genitourinary cancer during 2003, according to the American Cancer Society. The group also estimates that roughly 405,300 new cases of these cancers are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Despite these statistics, patients with genitourinary cancer are experiencing lower mortality and morbidity rates and a higher quality of life than was possible just a few years ago, thanks to ongoing medical research.

Still, the statistics remain, said Keane. "As long as patients continue to suffer from these cancers, we are compelled to search for new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat them," he said. "This endowed chair provides us with a way to do that, in perpetuity."

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Photo ID: (l-r): Thorsten Brockmann, Urology Chair Thomas Keane, Juergen Brockmann and MUSC Health Sciences Foundation Board member Paula-Harper Bethea.