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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93012

Reported Deaths: 2040
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26447926
Ramsey10697319
Dakota7354125
Anoka5935132
Stearns390924
Washington368955
Scott250033
Olmsted236728
Nobles195416
Blue Earth16476
Wright15737
St. Louis148039
Carver13897
Clay134040
Rice13228
Mower13125
Sherburne112514
Kandiyohi9722
Winona86318
Lyon6674
Waseca6128
Steele5332
Freeborn5323
Benton5303
Nicollet52116
Watonwan5164
Todd4872
Crow Wing48118
McLeod4752
Chisago4711
Le Sueur4524
Otter Tail4224
Beltrami4055
Martin37210
Goodhue3519
Pine3090
Itasca30314
Polk2984
Douglas2862
Isanti2790
Becker2642
Carlton2561
Cottonwood2240
Morrison2221
Dodge2180
Pipestone21710
Chippewa2061
Meeker1942
Sibley1863
Wabasha1830
Brown1822
Yellow Medicine1752
Rock1640
Cass1593
Murray1582
Mille Lacs1543
Redwood1541
Unassigned15052
Renville1427
Jackson1411
Faribault1360
Swift1271
Houston1210
Koochiching1213
Kanabec1178
Roseau1170
Pennington1161
Fillmore1110
Lincoln1080
Hubbard941
Stevens941
Pope920
Big Stone760
Aitkin751
Wadena670
Wilkin613
Grant594
Lake580
Norman530
Lac qui Parle501
Marshall501
Mahnomen461
Red Lake421
Traverse290
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods211
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 83644

Reported Deaths: 1294
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15697261
Woodbury526363
Johnson508627
Black Hawk443688
Linn3941110
Story340517
Dubuque310141
Scott292628
Dallas275138
Pottawattamie206838
Buena Vista197212
Marshall177034
Sioux15043
Wapello131457
Webster121614
Plymouth110420
Clinton109920
Muscatine109154
Crawford10655
Cerro Gordo101821
Warren9486
Jasper81732
Des Moines7647
Marion7536
Tama70431
Henry6854
Carroll6535
Lee6207
Wright5721
Dickinson5086
Boone5008
Bremer4837
Washington45311
Louisa42815
Mahaska39119
Delaware3833
Franklin34618
Floyd3363
Jackson3303
Winneshiek3246
Hamilton3223
Clay3164
Lyon3074
Benton3061
Hardin2951
Winnebago28913
Poweshiek2788
Butler2672
Buchanan2651
Clarke2643
Jones2643
Emmet26010
Shelby2581
Allamakee2566
Kossuth2540
Chickasaw2470
Clayton2443
Sac2440
Guthrie2416
Cedar2381
Cherokee2352
Grundy2193
Madison2122
Fayette2112
Harrison2073
Iowa1981
Mitchell1880
Howard1866
Humboldt1843
Palo Alto1830
Calhoun1793
Hancock1772
Mills1771
Cass1602
Monroe15710
Pocahontas1562
Lucas1536
Page1530
Osceola1510
Monona1451
Jefferson1371
Appanoose1333
Union1283
Taylor1271
Davis1244
Ida1151
Van Buren1131
Fremont1100
Keokuk1051
Worth1040
Greene990
Montgomery905
Wayne852
Audubon811
Adair691
Decatur670
Ringgold492
Adams330
Unassigned40
Rochester
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
Mason City
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Albert Lea
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Tracking more warmth before cooler weather arrives for the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events