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Although lung cancer is typically associated with smoking cigarettes, 10 out of every 100 lung cancer patients have never taken a puff, said Nasser H. Hanna, M.D., a lung cancer expert from Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis.
Nasser H. Hanna, M.D., a lung cancer expert at Indiana University’s Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and member of the center’s Experimental and Developmental Therapeutics Program, is involved in countless lung cancer research projects and drug studies in an attempt to find better treatments – ones that reduce side-effects like nausea, hair loss, diarrhea, and weakness.
Fast Fact: Dr. Hanna is a member of Indiana University’s Experimental and Developmental Therapeutics Program, which focuses on the discovery and development of novel anti-cancer agents using biomarkers and targeted therapies.
In particular, his work focuses on drugs that affect cellular functions connected to tumor growth, either by interrupting the messages that tell cells to divide uncontrollably or by turning off cell functions such as those that generate the blood supply that feeds tumors.
Many of his drug studies involve testing new drug combinations and various drug dosages to see what works best with the least amount of side effects, testing new drugs involving patients whose tumors are resistant to anti-cancer drugs and testing drugs among patients who have had several rounds of anti-cancer medicines yet suffered a cancer recurrence.
But Hanna wears many more hats, both at IU and in the community. He is also a member of IU’s Thoracic Oncology Program, which is devoted to treating people with cancers of the lung, including mesothelioma. The program brings together a team of cancer specialists so patients can get the most out of each medical visit.
Hanna is also an associate professor in IU’s Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology. He is a board-certified internist whose subspecialty is the diagnosis and treatment of benign and cancerous tumors.
In 2004 he and his wife, Amy, founded Cancer-Free Lungs, a non-profit organization that raises money for both lung cancer awareness and research, as well as to pay for programs to reduce teen smoking. He is also a member and former chairman of the Hoosier Oncology Group, a cancer research organization.
Since 2001, Hanna has contributed to 41 medical articles in journals such as Current Opinion in Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Clinical Lung Cancer. Many of Hanna’s publications discuss chemotherapy drugs and their effects on lung cancer patients, but he also contributed to 2004 article entitled “Pemetrexed (Alimta): Improving Outcomes in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.”
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