- The Washington Times - Friday, April 25, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

John Kanzius is one remarkable fellow. So remarkable, in fact, that nearly six months after we named him Noble of the week, we are revisiting his story. Readers may recall that Mr. Kanzius was lauded for his invention which may be a new cancer cure. While battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Mr. Kanzius began crafting his machine several years ago using baking pans and hot dogs. He has had to withstand dozens of chemotherapy treatments, and he wanted to find a way to kill the cancer cells with no side effects.

He’s not a doctor, rather, he’s a former radio technician. Using his knowledge of radio waves, and how metal heats up when exposed to them while leaving humans unaffected, he constructed a makeshift radio wave machine. He injected copper sulfate into the hot dogs and then aimed radio waves at them. Just as he suspected, the particles heated up, leaving the rest of the hot dog cool.

Mr. Kanzius spent $200,000 of his own money to build a better prototype, and took his ideas to his doctor, Steven Curley of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston. By an incredible cosmic coincidence, another of Dr. Curley’s patients, Rick Smalley, had won the Nobel Prize for discovering carbon nanoparticles, a substance Mr. Kanzius suggested using as the metal injected into tumors. Mr. Smalley provided a vial of nanoparticles, and amazingly, it worked. The particles would heat up when exposed to the radio waves and leave surrounding materials alone. Unfortunately, Mr. Smalley died shortly after, but his contribution continues to be a building block of this new treatment.

Just a few years later, Mr. Kanzius and Dr. Curley have made incredible strides. The goal is to have the nanoparticles seek out and attach to metastasized cancerous cells. That way, when the body is exposed to radio waves, the particles will heat up and destroy the bad cells with no side effects and without relying on locating each tumor. For many cancer patients, the disease can spread undetected. So far, Dr. Curley has had success in destroying tumors in rabbits and Dr. David Geller at the University of Pittsburgh, using gold nano-particles, has had similar success in mice.

Recently, two peer-reviewed articles were published in the “Journal of Cancer” and the “Journal of Nano-biotechnology” outlining their progress and the team expects to begin human testing in as little as 4 years. Unfortunately, his leukemia is terminal. Chances are that Mr. Kanzius won’t live to see his creation save any lives. But his memory will no doubt follow his machine wherever it goes. And who knows? Maybe he’ll be its first victory.


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