ASCO Remembers Cooperative Trial Pioneer, SWOG Leader, and ASCO Past President Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr.

Dec 05, 2018

ASCO and the oncology community mourn the loss of ASCO past president and former Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) leader Charles A. Coltman, Jr., MD, FASCO, president emeritus of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Coltman passed away on November 28, 2018; he was 88.

Dr. Coltman first became involved with SWOG in 1967 and was elected group chair in 1981, a position he held for 24 years. During his tenure as chair, Dr. Coltman worked to grow the scope of SWOG and increase its ability to do research that focused on cancer control and prevention. He worked to influence thousands of investigators at participating institutions in the United States, Canada, and Korea, and expanded SWOG’s reach by participating in the Community Clinical Oncology Program, which allowed for greater participation in cancer research by community-based physicians.

Dr. Coltman’s hard work and dedication was also evident by the impact he had on the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. He joined the institution as a professor in 1970 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Coltman became director of the CTRC in 1991 and formed the umbrella organization, the San Antonio Cancer Institute, by adding a new Institute for Drug Development.

Dr. Coltman was an active volunteer within ASCO throughout his career. He served as the Society’s president from 1988-1989 and was a driving force behind the development of the ASCO/AACR Joint Workshop, at which 100 professionals each year learn how to create and conduct cancer clinical trials. He was chair of ASCO’s Strategic Planning Committee from 1991-1992, was awarded the David A. Karnofsky Award in 2001, and became a Fellow of ASCO in 2007.

Dr. Coltman was named SWOG’s chair emeritus in September 2007, and his name and influence live on in the group’s Charles A. Coltman, Jr. Fellowships, established to promote research by promising investigators early in their careers.


Gladys Isabel Rodriguez, MD

Dec, 05 2018 6:05 PM

My husband and I  extend our sympathy  and prayers to Dr. Coltman’s family, and his children. I’m deeply saddened by the news, but I’m very  grateful to had him as a mentor, attending and role model during my training and academic career. As I’m participating at the SABCS, a meeting Dr. Coltman was instrumental in establishing as the “State of the Art” breast cancer conference the loss is amplified, but at the same time his work lives in meeting like this. His dedication to excellent care  in oncology lives in all of us who were his students, fellows and colleagues.

May Dr. Coltman Rest In Peace, Gladys I Rodríguez, MD Oncology-Hematology fellowship Class of 1991, UTHSCSA. 

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