It’s a familiar question asked by children when traveling to grandma’s house or on vacation. Mom and Dad know exactly where the family is heading but they aren’t counting on a traffic jam, slick roads, a flat tire, or other unplanned pit stops.
Compare this scenario to the clinical research world and you can begin to grasp what our journey to human trials is about. This is a complex question that leaves many frustrated, but as we approach 2012, we hope to help you understand the work we’re doing and the critical juncture we are at today.
Over the past six years, research teams at MD Anderson, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of California, Davis have been investigating the idea of John Kanzius to treat cancer noninvasively and without surgery so patients would not have to endure the debilitating side effects associated with traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments.
Current Kanzius research involves tagging a cancer cell specifically with a metallic nano-particle and then passing a controlled radiowave past the cell to destroy it.
Never before has research like this utilized the three key components that comprise the Kanzius Noninvasive Radiowave Cancer Treatment simultaneously: a radio frequency (RF) device invented by John Kanzius, gold nanoparticles, and a targeting antibody. John knew the idea would work, and that it would eventually provide hope to cancer patients.
But when will human trials begin? Dr. Peter Depowski, a pathologist and vice president of the KCRF Board of Directors, explains, “traditionally, it may take decades of research to bring a new drug or medical device to the point where the FDA advances the work.”
This is traditionally the starting point that the general public learns of new research and human trials can begin. Early progress – as validated by the published outcomes of teams led by Dr. Steven Curley (MD Anderson), Dr. David Gellar (UPMC) and Dr. Dustin Kruse (UC, Davis) – “has been impressive and if the studies involving small, nonhuman subjects can be duplicated in larger ones, the possibility for FDA approval and human treatment will be more likely,” concluded Dr. Depowski.
If you consider the traditional time line, the Kanzius Noninvasive Radiowave Cancer Treatment would still have 10-15 years before the first human trial. Thanks to an amazing idea, a stellar team of research experts, and our donors –this extremely focused project will honor John’s dream and have the potential to treat the first patient much, much sooner.
It is worthy to note that the Kanzius Foundation is not aware of any philanthropically funded cancer research that has been as focused on such a specific treatment methodology before FDA approval for human trials. This is why we can confidently support research for the “world’s most promising cancer treatment.”
John knew there was “a better way to treat cancer.” We are encouraged by the positive results of current research. But until we arrive at the “traditional” starting line, the Kanzius Foundation will continue funding the research necessary to move forward as quickly as possible and remain diligent throughout the process.
MARK A. NEIDIG SR. is executive director of the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation (MNeidig@Kanzius.org).