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'Hurst hosts Kanzius cancer symposium

Dr. Stephen Curley, the Houston physician who’s studying the use of non-invasive radio waves to treat cancer, will provide an update on his research during a Saturday symposium at Mercyhurst.

President Tom Gamble will welcome both Curley, of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, and John Kanzius, the retired Erie television executive who proposed the idea.

The symposium begins at 7 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Tickets for the general public are $10, with all proceeds helping to fund continued research.

The event is sponsored by Community united for a Cancer Cure (CCC), a group of Erie people working to increase awareness of the Kanzius model and to accelerate the speed of research. The group is chaired by Erie surgeon Dr. Richard Long and Mercyhurst alumna Mary Ann Yochim '71. Honorary chairs include Erie County Executive Mark DiVecchio, Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott and former Mayor Joyce Savocchio '65.

The Kanzius system tags cancer cells with tiny pieces of metal called nanoparticles. When exposed to radiowaves, the nanoparticles heat up and destroy the cancer cells – without damaging healthy cells nearby.

Preliminary research at both the Anderson Center and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has shown promising results. The next step, if federal approval is granted, would be testing on human patients. Three testing centers are envisioned, including one in Erie.

Released on Monday, April 23, 2007