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|Erie welcomes Kanzius conference participants|
|Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 at 2:01 AM|
The Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation takes a major step forward today and Saturday with its Faces2012 conference highlighting progress on finding a noninvasive treatment for cancer and showcasing real people who have dealt with the realities of a cancer diagnosis.
The conference, at the Ambassador Conference Center, opens this evening with a reception featuring three lead researchers: Steven Curley, M.D., of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; Hong Koo Kim, Ph.D., a nanoparticle researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and Dustin Kruse, Ph.D., an engineering researcher at the University of California-Davis.
The backgrounds of these scientists show that many disciplines are involved in studying the potential of the Kanzius machine to use radio waves and nanoparticles to target and kill cancer cells.
The late John Kanzius, a radio engineer, came up with this concept as he was being treated for a rare form of leukemia. Kanzius didn't live long enough to see if his patented invention would succeed in human trials; he died on Feb. 18, 2009, at age 64, after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Kanzius is revered because of his contributions to medical research, even though he wasn't a physician and didn't have a doctoral degree. Kanzius' impact on the effort to find an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation would not be as widespread if he hadn't become a face of cancer himself. In Erie and at his winter home in Sanibel, Fla., Kanzius talked freely about his illness, the tough regimens he faced and his hopes for a brighter future for cancer patients, especially children.
A larger audience learned about Kanzius when Lesley Stahl interviewed him for "60 Minutes" in 2008. In October 2009, the CBS News magazine revisited the Kanzius story after his death and Stahl revealed that Kanzius had used his radio-wave machine on himself, without the nanoparticles. Kanzius said his health improved, at least temporarily, but he admitted that "you wonder when the bubble's going to break. The disease is relentless. It just keeps pushing and pushing and pushing."
This weekend, the push will be on to familiarize participants not just with the latest research but with patients and survivors. "One of our biggest goals is to share as many faces and stories as possible, uniting a national community that believes in an alternative method of treatment," Mark Neidig, executive director of the Kanzius Foundation, wrote in his Oct. 2 Op-Ed column, "Making Waves."
Saturday's program includes workshops on how to raise money for the Kanzius program, with grass-roots efforts and from the government. Talk-show host Glenn Beck is the featured luncheon speaker and Scott Burton, a comedian, juggler and cancer survivor, closes out the program.
Published October 26, 2012 at 12:01AM at http://www.goerie.com/article/20121026/OPINION01/310269996/Our-view%3A-Erie-welcomes-Kanzius-conference-participants