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MSCO Remembers Former President Arthur T. Skarin, MD

09 Sep 2022 10:00 AM | Katy Monaco (Administrator)

MSCO mourns the passing and honors the life of Arthur T. Skarin, MD, former president of the Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists who passed away peacefully on September 4 at the Age of 87 after a long illness.

He was President of the Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncology from 2007-2010 and was the Journal of Clinical Oncology Editor for the Diagnosis in Oncology section from 1997-2010. During his time at MSCO, Dr. Skarin was dedicated and devoted to the enriched of the oncology profession as well as advocacy for patients, patient care, and treatment accessibility within the state. He was also the recipient of the inaugural Massachusetts Oncologist of the Year Award in 2011.  

There are no words to express our sorrow, but we wish to share a moment of appreciation for a joyful life taken too soon.

“Dr. Skarin was a humble and soft-spoken gentleman who was all about helping his patients and his colleagues.  He was a teacher to many students, interns, residents, fellows, and oncology clinicians in Massachusetts.  He would go around to different community hospitals, hold tumor boards, and review thoracic cases with the local oncologists, giving his expert advice. He did so in a quiet, and gentle way.  He was President of MSCO over a contiguous 4-year period.  He touched the lives of many in our Commonwealth.  He will be missed, but never forgotten!!” said Dr. Michael Constantine, former MSCO president, in a statement. 

Dr. Skarin retired in June 2005 after a 40-year career in Medical Oncology.  He was Medical Director of Thoracic Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute from 1995   through 2008 where he pioneered multimodality treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.  In addition, he was heavily involved in the education, teaching, and training of over 400 fellows.  Other education programs included the conduction of tumor boards at several local and regional hospitals.  In addition to over 155 publications in medical journals, he is the editor of the only “Atlas of Diagnostic Oncology” a collection of more than 2,500 images and drawings along with a clinically focused text giving essential information on pathology, diagnostic studies, staging, and symptoms. Recently, the new fourth edition of the atlas was published. 

“Art was a mover and shaker of oncology in Massachusetts.  He once held the President position at MSCO and other key positions on the MSCO Board. Thoracic oncology was his clinical expertise, and he spent many decades caring for patients with lung cancer at DFCI.  Photography was his hobby and, therefore, it was not a surprise that he served as the section editor for Images in Oncology in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  He even displayed his artwork at MSCO’s annual meeting.  Both Art and his “art” will be missed by everyone in MSCO and all oncologists in the state of Massachusetts.” stated Dr. Eric T. Wong, former MSCO president.

Other activities included a teaching program of bone marrow morphology for oncology fellows, section leader of the thoracic oncology section of “Up-To-Date”, and thoracic oncology consultation opinions for “Best Doctors” out of Boston.  

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Roslyn (Walter) Skarin; a son, Jon K. Skarin and his wife Kathleen Glunz Skarin, and son Matthew A. Skarin, all of Charlestown, Massachusetts. 

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