Lung cancer studied at URMC

For patients suffering from lung cancer, a possible discovery made by oncologists at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center of UR Medical Center suggests there is a way to stop cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.

The research, led by oncologist and Director of Clinical Trials at the Wilmot Cancer Center Kishan Pandya, is focused on how to ease the painful progression of bone metastasis by applying widely-used therapy for strengthening bones.

“We started this project three months ago,” Pandya said. “This is a feasibility study to see if we can enroll patients with metastasis lung cancer but without bone metastases on such a study in preparation for a definitive, much larger study.”

Rather than surgery, this advanced national clinical study offers patients a safer way to treat lung cancer.

Pandya’s study concentrates on the stoppage of metastasis so that doctors can stop the movement of cancer cells in people’s bodies, which can prevent patients from suffering from the fatal progression of cancer cells to the bones.

A therapy called Zometa was first designed for easing the pain of bone metastasis, and now a group of oncologists led by Pandya is investigating whether this therapy can be used to treat lung cancer and to stop its cells’ progression or not. Pandya’s research, funded by Novartis, URMC, is recruiting 240 patients from 25 cancer centers throughout the United States.

At the Wilmot Cancer Center, these patients will be treated by receiving injections of the drug, as well as standard chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy.

“The aim of our research is to see if this drug can prevent or prolong time to bone metastases, so that their quality of life can be improved,” Pandya said.

Music professor awarded for contributions to Rochester

Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities at UR David Harman has received the Richard H. Snook Award, presented by the Monroe County School Music Association, on Saturday at the Elementary All-County Music Festival.

The award honors musicians who have made significant contributions to music education in the Rochester community.

Harman’s numerous contributions to community music education over the past 12 years were recognized, including his collaborations with high school orchestras and choruses and educational programs for elementary, middle and high school students he conducted with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Harman directs the UR Symphony Orchestra as well as the UR’s Chamber Orchestra and various chamber ensembles. He also serves as the music director of the Penfield Symphony Orchestra.

“I am especially honored to receive this award, since it is given by professional music educators in the greater Rochester area,” Harman said. “I have gotten to know many of them over the years through my work with both the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic and have come to admire and respect both the individual and collective efforts which they give to the increasingly daunting challenges of maintaining and developing music education in our schools. Knowing that these educators are especially dedicated and talented makes recognition from them particularly meaningful.”

Reporting by Yosuke Aoyama and Shweta Krishnan.

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