Dee Rowe Benefits from Personalized Cancer Treatment at UConn Health

Dee Rowe, former head coach of men's basketball and now special adviser to Athletics, speaks at the tribute to former head coach Jim Calhoun. (Stephen Slade '89 (SFA) for UConn)

Dee Rowe, former head coach of men’s basketball and now special adviser to Athletics, speaks at the tribute to former head coach Jim Calhoun in fall 2013. (Stephen Slade ’89 (SFA) for UConn)

When former head coach for men’s basketball Donald (Dee) Rowe was suffering from melanoma 10 years ago, he turned to UConn Health for treatment.

After having several surgeries, he signed up for a phase 3 clinical trial of an immunotherapy developed by Dr. Pramod Srivastava, director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at UConn Health. Known as oncophage, the treatment is a personalized cancer vaccine made from heat shock proteins isolated from the patient’s own tumor. Srivastava’s work is ongoing and will include a new trial for ovarian cancer later this year.

Rowe made an excellent recovery and, now aged 85, he is still able to attend the Huskies’ basketball games. “Every day is a bonus,” he says.

He was recently featured on the website of the Cancer Research Institute as part of a series of patient success stories focusing on cancer immunotherapy that ran during the month of June. Read the full story.

Rowe received the University Medal, one of UConn’s highest honors, in 2007. Read more about his accomplishments as coach, and his love for the University here.

Dee Rowe, right, head coach of men's basketball 1969-70 through 1976-77, with Tony Hanson. (UConn Athletic Communications file photo)

Dee Rowe, right, head coach of men’s basketball 1969-70 through 1976-77, with Tony Hanson. (UConn Athletic Communications file photo)

Dee Rowe, head coach of men's basketball 1969-70 through 1976-77, outside the Hugh Greer Field House. (UConn Athletic Communications file photo)

Dee Rowe, head coach of men’s basketball 1969-70 through 1976-77, outside the Hugh Greer Field House. (UConn Athletic Communications file photo)