Mac Cheever (1944–2021): a tribute to a life of achievement and service

January 21, 2022

Dr. Mac Cheever was a true pioneer in immune therapy for cancer. His efforts have helped many patients with cancer, but particularly those with Merkel cell carcinoma, helping to lead to the approval of anti-PD1 for MCC. This tribute to his life details why he believed that immune therapy for cancer would be important, decades before that was proven to be the case. We deeply miss him, his sage advice, and support for developing new approaches to target cancer using the immune system.

February 2009, a breakfast meeting in Seattle with Mac Cheever (right) Yuan Chang, Patrick Moore and Paul Nghiem (left). Drs. Moore & Chang discovered the Merkel polyomavirus the year before and we met to discuss possible therapeutic directions that ultimately bore fruit for patients, about 6 years later.