KANZIUS Special Section:
Published: June 03. 2008 6:00AM
John Kanzius meets with the editorial board about his new developments in his groundbreaking cancer treatment research. (Erie Times-News)
It's been a busy spring for John Kanzius.
The Millcreek Township inventor has been the subject of a "60 Minutes" profile about his invention, a radio-frequency generator that has been proved to completely kill cancerous tumors in animals without side effects.
He also has met with Gov. Ed Rendell and U.S. Rep Phil English, of Erie, R-3rd Dist., to seek funding for more research and manufacturing of the device.
This summer, Kanzius will work with owners of Industrial Sales and Manufacturing to build a larger RF device that can be used in human trials.
He has even talked with Hollywood executives about a movie based on his invention.
Kanzius, 64, met Monday with the Erie Times-News Editorial Board.
He spoke for 50 minutes about his invention, which is being tested at world-class research institutes as a cancer-killing machine and a device that converts saltwater to energy.
Q What's the latest information you can tell us about cancer research of your device at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center?
A Researchers at M.D. Anderson have targeted specific cancers that they have proven -- this was the $64,000 question -- can we get the nanoparticles where we want to get them? They have proven they can get them where they want to get them, in specific tumors. That manuscript will be out in July or early August. ... I can't give you more information about it (because) the journals get very upset if the press gets the information and peer-reviews it before they have a chance to send it to their medical people for evaluation.
(Dave Geller, M.D., principal investigator of Kanzius' device at UPMC) has an article coming out in Surgery magazine in August that talks about gold nanoparticles and the ablation of cancers in the livers of rats.
Q Will human trials of your device happen in Erie?
A (Steve Curley, M.D., principal investigator of the device at M.D. Anderson) wants human trials to happen in this town ... and I would like to see that happen. Dr. Curley has assured me that some institution will run the test if they can meet the qualifications.
Whether that is going to be Saint Vincent, whether it will be the Regional Cancer Center or some combination of them, I can't tell you at this point. The water is murky with (Saint Vincent and Hamot) and the RCC, and negotiations with UPMC.
Q How much of an economic impact would hosting human trials have for Erie?
A I see it being a big windfall. Erie will have a device not available elsewhere in the country except for a handful of places, like Houston, Minneapolis, Boston and places on the West Coast. It puts this community in a prestigious and elite status. Patients from Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh will come here for treatment, at least until there are enough devices built to send to those cities.
Q You said there have been numerous offers to buy your project. Are you tempted to sell?
A It is not my intent. My intent is to see by license or whatever, a majority of equipment is manufactured in Erie. Some stuff can't be manufactured here. ... I can't find anybody who wants to make the RF generators for the equipment, which is a very integral part. One manufacturer said they would be glad to make it -- in Mexico. It made me almost turn blue.
Q What is happening with research at Pennsylvania State University about using the device to "burn" saltwater? There has been debate on the subject that it takes more energy to heat the saltwater than the chemical reaction releases.
A Everyone says it's all about "energy in, energy out" but (Rustum Roy, a Penn State professor who is leading saltwater-to-energy research on the device) said it costs $1.35 to make a gallon of ethanol and nobody complains about that and the fact it has more carbon releases in it than gasoline. Everyone says this is green. This is the way to go. (Roy) said, "Wouldn't you rather have something that gives off pure drinking water as a by-product and may be nearly as efficient as ethanol?"
Q Is there going to be a movie about your life and invention?
A I'm waiting for (the movie's producer) to put out a press release. (It's a) major motion picture company in Los Angeles, but they haven't (issued) a press release yet, so I've been asked to embargo that. ... They have mentioned different people (to act in it), but it's the availability of the actors and actresses.
DAVID BRUCE can be reached at 870-1736 or by e-mail.