Dr. Hayden G. 'Bud' Braine, oncologist, dies

He was emeritus professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and a pioneer in the field of blood cell transfusion

  • Dr. Hayden G. Braine
Dr. Hayden G. Braine
November 02, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Dr. Hayden G. "Bud" Braine, an internationally known figure and pioneer in the field of blood cell transfusion and in the treatment of patients suffering from leukemia, died Saturday from complications of dementia at Gilchrist Hospice Care.

The Monkton resident was 67.

"Bud was an outstanding oncologist and established at Hopkins one of the first hemapheresis unit programs in the country. He was a great guy, compassionate and will be missed," said Dr. Richard J. "Rick" Jones, professor and director of bone marrow transplants at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

"He built a system that continues today in our hospital-wide blood banks and pathology laboratories to process red blood cells and platelets for transfusion into patients with cancer and other conditions," Dr. Jones said. "His knowledge and dedication to providing this service undoubtedly helped extend lives and cure many patients."

Dr. Braine was born in New Britain, Conn., and raised in Windsor, Conn., where he graduated from what is now the Loomis Chaffee School.

He graduated with honors from Harvard College in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in biology. He earned his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Braine completed an internship and a residency in internal medicine in 1970 and a fellowship in oncology in 1973 at Johns Hopkins.

After serving as a major in the Army Medical Corps from 1973 to 1975, he began his career at what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

In the late 1970s, he founded and served as director of the hemapheresis program at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The program provides critical platelet and other specialized blood product support to cancer patients to help manage the toxicities of cancer therapies.

It also provides support to the Kimmel Cancer Center's bone marrow transplant program, assisting with the management of the unrelated bone marrow donor pool and storing and processing bone marrow and blood stem cells for transplant.

In a 1978 article in The Evening Sun, Dr. Braine illuminated the difficulty of finding matches for those suffering from leukemia.

"The chances of finding a perfect match are 2,000 to one," he said. "But, the chances of finding a close match are 200 to one. And with a close match, success is feasible."

"I've known Bud for 38 years and he was a very special man," said Dr. Judith E. Karp, professor of oncology and medicine at Hopkins.

"He established a unique operation in blood products production that is critical to processing bone marrow, and we couldn't do what we now do without what Bud had established," Dr. Karp said.

"Because of his contributions, we can now do the types of intensive therapy needed for leukemia and bone marrow transplants, and he spent the later part of his career trying to make clinical research better and things better for patients," she said.

Dr. Braine led the Kimmel Cancer Center's clinical trials research office, where he was known for being a stickler for details.

Some of Dr. Braine's colleagues at the cancer center referred to him as "Bud Braine Barrier," a play on the phrase used to describe the protective "blood- brain barrier" that prevents certain drugs from reaching the central nervous system, and a tribute to his rigorous attention to scrutinizing and reviewing details of clinical trials.

"Bud was an unsung hero who radiated warmth, always had a smile on his face, and was adored by patients," Dr. Karp said.

"He was a quiet, humble and modest man who didn't care about getting credit for what he had done," she said. "He always spoke his mind, stood up for what he thought was right. He always wanted to do the best that he could do."

Dr. Braine was also a prodigious contributor and author of articles to more than 90 medical publications.

Dr. Braine retired in 2006, and was diagnosed in recent years with the dementia that claimed his life.

The Monkton resident once described himself as "an antique parent. What I lack in youthful energy, I can make up for in cunning and wisdom."

He enjoyed caring for a variety of cats, dogs and horses that he kept on his farm.

Dr. Braine enjoyed vacationing on Nantucket, where he liked surf casting for blue fish and was known for wearing his favorite T-shirt: "To be successful in this world, one must of course establish priorities: fish first."

He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave., Towson, where a memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 21.

Surviving are his wife of many years, the former Beverly Barfield; two daughters, Anni Braine, 16, and Laiza Braine, 13, both of Monkton; and a sister, Joan Carter Dunn of Lowell, Mass.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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