Lawsuit leaves future of Kanzius cancer treatment in limbo

Local News

ERIE, Pa. — After a lawsuit was filed leaving the future of research with the John Kanzius radio-frequency cancer treatment up in the air, those in the Erie community close to the project are speaking out.

Members of the Erie community supported Kanzius at the ground level of his cancer treatment machine for years.

A federal lawsuit filed in Houston has threatened to halt the research, leaving people in Erie frustrated and disappointed.

The lawsuit was filed by Baylor School of Medicine, where research is being done on the John Kanzius’ cancer treatment machine, against NeoTherma Oncology of Kansas, the company that owns the patent rights to the device.

“What we’re up against now is not a failure of the research or the researchers or the people across this nation that contributed, but of a company that finds itself in a lawsuit and is jeopardizing for all of and indeed I believe for the world, this treatment for cancer that could be so effective,” said former Erie Mayor Joyce Savacchio who helped raise money for the project.

Also on the ground level was Kanzius’ friend, surgeon doctor Richard Long, who said the future of the external radio-frequency device is up in the air.

“I think there’s still more ground that has to be covered before they can get to clinical trials, but this is going to be a big hurdle now,” Long said.

The lawsuit alleges NeoTherma Oncology failed on a promise to provide $9 million to take the research to human trials. The initial conference on the lawsuit is scheduled for Oct. 28.

“What is so devastating is that there are people waiting for this,” Savacchio said.

Calls and emails to NeoTherma have not yet been returned.

Kanzius’ wife, Mary, said by email she is hopeful the case is resolved in a positive way.

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