Thoracic surgeon William Roy Smythe has been named one of the Best Doctors in America each year since 2003. As the Chairman of Surgery for both the Scott & White Healthcare System and the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center College of Medicine, he has treated patients with various malignant diseases such as advanced lung cancer, chest wall tumors, esophageal cancer and mesothelioma.
Fast Fact: Dr. Smythe was the National Media Spokesman for the Level 1 Trauma Center at Scott and White after the 2010 Fort Hood shooting.
Many of Smythe’s patients benefit from his extensive knowledge of gene therapy. While completing his first residency, in 1994, Smythe contributed to the nation’s first research team to experiment with cancer and gene therapy in the lab. Gene therapy, now viewed as a revolutionary cancer treatment, transfers cancer-fighting genes via the adenovirus, a form of the common cold.
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Smythe published the first scholarly article discussing the project. The article sparked widespread interest in the treatment method and influenced researchers to launch the world’s first clinical gene therapy trial for mesothelioma.
Although it is still largely experimental, gene therapy has been given to a number of mesothelioma patients as an alternative form of treatment. Mesothelioma patients are injected with a genetically altered virus that is intended to correct the faulty genes that are causing the illness.
Smythe continues his individual research in gene therapy as a member of the American Society of Gene Therapy. He is also the Vice President and Founder of the National Mesothelioma Foundation for Patient Care and Research.
A former Clinical Oncology fellow of the American Cancer Society, Smythe was also named one of the Consumers Research Council’s Best Surgeons in America.
He remains active in a number of professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group and the Society for Clinical Surgery.
With over 60 publications accepted by major health journals such as the Journal of Trauma and Academic Medicine, Smythe is a respected author in the fields of surgery and the molecular biology of mesothelioma.
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