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Petr F. Hausner, M.D., Ph.D., is chief of Hematology and Oncology at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he helps the growing number of veterans who developed an asbestos-related disease after exposure to the harmful mineral on a naval fleet or military base. As a medical oncologist, Dr. Hausner also treats mesothelioma patients at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, which boasts a special department for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related ailments. He is also an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Hausner was born in Prague, in the former Czechoslovakia, to parents who were Holocaust survivors. In 1972, he graduated from the First Medical School at Prague’s Charles University. He spent his formative years as the school’s Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Laboratory of Clinical Immunology. His 1985 Ph.D. thesis was entitled, "Immunologic Mechanisms in the Prognosis of Melanoma." As his interests shifted to oncology, he joined the research laboratory of the Oncology Department, became board certified in Medical Oncology, was promoted to Associate Professor of Oncology and ultimately became vice-chair of the department.
Under glasnost, Mikhail Gorbachev’s late 1980s policy for increased openness and transparency in the Soviet Union government, Dr. Hausner was allowed to apply for a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. After years of laboratory research, he became a board-certified Internist and Medical Oncologist.
In 1998, Hausner became a staff oncologist at the Greenebaum Cancer Center, a facility that accepts patients who have had unsuccessful treatments at other institutions. And in 1999, he was appointed Chief of Hematology and Oncology at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, where he is involved in administrating the oncology departments and improving the safety of patients while maintaining the effectiveness of cancer care.
Dr. Hausner is a prolific clinical researcher centering on solid cancers like mesothelioma, lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. He is also particularly interested in melanoma and other skin cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma. He has published 96 papers and over 130 abstracts, and has contributed articles to seven medical textbooks. In a mesothelioma overview article for the University of Maryland, Dr. Hausner highlighted the benefits of Pemetrexed, a chemotherapeutic drug offered at the Greenebaum Cancer Center that has already been shown to have significant success in completed trials.
His current laboratory research focuses on the cellular and tissue levels of cancer growth. Other research subjects include: gap junctional intercellular communications and their function in drug resistance; phenotypic changes related to the epithelial mesothelial transition in melanoma and mesothelioma; and the pathogenesis and spread of mesothelioma.
Though slow, there is progress in the understanding of the biology of mesothelioma. Treatments based on previous trials and developed through understanding of … all the experience oncology has acquired in more common diseases will help to formulate the most burning questions for the next clinical trials.
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