Gaurav Patel, MD

Can medical science turn cancer into a chronic disease?

When Type 1 diabetes was first discovered, it was universally fatal. With the discovery of insulin, it became merely a chronic disease. Despite there still being no cure, with proper monitoring and care, it can be controlled. The life expectancy of Type 1 diabetics has continued to increase over the last hundred years.

Could the same happen with cancer? What if cancer was merely something to be monitored regularly and treated periodically? That idea is what inspires me.

Indeed, this is already happening. I remember learning in medical school that if colon cancer had spread outside the colon, it was essentially a death sentence. Yet here we are a mere fifteen years later, and patients with metastatic colon cancer are surviving many years after their diagnosis.

Interventional radiology is a field that emphasizes Hippocrates’ charge Do No Harm. It tries to do the most good with the least side effects using technological breakthroughs. In conjunction with our colleagues from medical oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology, we aim to make cancer a chronic disease.

Sure, a cure would be best, but in the meantime, let’s work to make cancer a mere nuisance that doesn’t get in the way of checking off the boxes along life’s journey.

What else…

I’m originally from Virginia and studied chemical engineering at Virginia Tech, attended medical school at the University of Virginia, trained in residency at the University of Rochester and in fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School. By the end of all this, I’d had enough of the Northeast winters and promptly moved to the Valley of the Sun five years ago. Regrets? None.

Research:

  • Quantitative relationship of stress Tc-99m sestamibi lung uptake with resting Tl-201 lung uptake and with indices of left ventricular dysfunction and coronary artery disease
    Patel GM,, Hauser TH, Parker JA, Pinto DS, Sanders GP, Aepfelbacher FC, Koutkia P, Danias PG

    Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. 2004 Jul-Aug;11(4):408-13

  • Clinical significance of “endplate extravasation” during percutaneous vertebroplasty
    Patel GM,, Kallmes DF, Jensen ME, Schweikert PT, Kim AK

    Abstract presented by me at American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) conference in Boston, MA in April 2001

  • Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors alter ventilation in isoflurane anesthetized rats
    Patel GM,, Horstman DJ, Adams JM, Rich GF

    Anesthesiology. 1998 May;88(5):1240-8