Leading where research is most needed
Lung cancer takes more lives than any other form of cancer. Of those patients who undergo surgery, only 16 in 100 will survive five years, according to the National Cancer Institute.
A team of researchers, led by Robert Korst, M.D., Thoracic Surgeon and Medical Director of the Blumenthal Cancer Center, is focused on detecting an indicator in the blood that exists in lung cancer patients. He believes Valley is closer to reversing the statistics of this devastating disease.
“We discovered certain blood cells in lung cancer patients change in a way that doesn’t occur in healthy patients,” Dr. Korst said. “These changes appear to revert back to normal after removing the cancer.”
This discovery could defy the odds for millions of lung cancer patients around the world. “It would mean we could test people or even screen them for lung cancer,” said Dr. Korst. “If we can detect a recurrence of the disease before it has a chance to grow out of our control, we could literally save hundreds of thousands of lives.”
Ganepola Ganepola, M.D., Director of the Center for Cancer Research and Genomic Medicine is in full agreement. The team at Valley is conducting studies that are completely new to science. Focused on screening for pancreatic cancer, Dr. Ganepola has recently patented an early detection process for pancreatic cancer and has a goal to detect the disease before it spreads. He believes he is close and stresses the need for more financial support and volunteers to provide blood samples.
“It’s painful for me to tell patients they have three months to live. If a blood test can detect the disease early enough, we will cure cancer.”
With your support, the progress established by Drs. Korst and Ganepola may soon reach a breakthrough in the science and future treatment of lung and pancreatic cancers.
Robert J. Korst, M.D., Medical Director of the Blumenthal Cancer Center
Ganepola Ganepola, M.D., Director of the Center for Genomic Medicine