In 2002, Dr. Nicholas J. Vogelzang launched a clinical trial testing a drug called pemetrexed for mesothelioma patients. The trial would become the largest Phase 2 pemetrexed study with mesothelioma patients to date.
At the end of the trial, over 41 percent of patients experienced a reduction in their tumors. The patients who took pemetrexed with an additional chemotherapeutic drug called cisplatin also extended their survival rate by three months.
Fast Fact: Dr. Vogelzang was the first professor to be named the Fred C. Buffet Professor in Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Vogelzang also was involved with clinical trials for Alimta, the first and only drug that the FDA approved to treat mesothelioma. These studies revolutionized mesothelioma treatment and brought about a new standard of chemotherapeutic care. Vogelzang explained these therapies, as well as the causes and other approaches to mesothelioma treatment, as the editor of “Malignant Mesothelioma,” a comprehensive clinical textbook.
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As a chair and medical director for the Developmental Therapeutics Committee, Vogelzang’s work with emergent therapies has allowed numerous mesothelioma patients to extend their lifespan and reduce the symptoms of their rare cancer.
In 2006 the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) named Vogelzang as the board chair for his involvement with the search for a mesothelioma cure. When he took the position, he explained the ambitious mission he hoped to lead:
Together in the coming years, we will increase our impact on overcoming the meso tragedy.
Vogelzang incorporates lessons he learned in the laboratory to his clinical practice at the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (CCCN). He has served as a medical oncologist at the facility since 2009, where each patient is provided with a comprehensive team of specialists at a single location.
Before joining the CCCN, Vogelzang worked as the founding director of the Nevada Cancer Institute. He also directed the University of Chicago Research Center from 1999 to 2003. He has served on a number of committees, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society.
Vogelzang’s internship, residency and chief residency were all completed at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center after he finished medical school at the University of Illinois. He has written more than 435 scientific publications since entering the medical field in 1974.
Of more than 100 scholarly articles, 19 of Vogelzang’s publications address mesothelioma. These works include “Chemotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma,” published in the May 2008 issue of Lancet, and “Newer Issues in Mesothelioma Chemotherapy,” published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
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