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March 21, 1986 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

39 .

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potential cancer cures. They can
raise hopes, only t,olet down. some
of the hopeful. an Foon ran into
one recently at Michigan, a
Romanian immigrant, Ted Vidi-
can of Ypsilanti Township, who
once was sent to Foon at NCI for
interferon treatments for a rare
form of blood cancer called "hairy
cell leukemia."
Alpha interferon had been
known to turn the disease com-
pletely around, but it didn't work
for Vidican. "He's one of two
patients who didn't respond to the
interferon," Foon said. "Ninety-
five percent of the patients re-
spond."
Subsequently, Vidican was
given an experimental drug
called 2-deoxycoformycin (dCF)
by Dr. Charles Koller at U-M and
it worked.
"Interferon research now is
going on at virtually every major
university in the country," Foon
said. "We somewhat pioneered it
at the National Cancer Institute,
my group and myself .. My
former boss, Bob Oldham, was
was one of the real pioneers.
"Where I stand out more inde-
pendently is in my antibody re-

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search. We're now using a
technology discovered ten years
ago .. developing highly purified
anticancer antibodies."
A researcher can't be rigid in
his approaches, Dr. Foon said.
"You have to keep a somewhat
open mind. What I've done is focus
on awarea of biologics. When you
see that something seems to be
working, you start focusing down
on that area and moving on to
other areas."
Dr. Foon began focusing on
lymphomas and leukemias, blood
diseases, and the group he headed
at NCI "did, the largest trials in
the world" on such malgnancies
with interferon. They published
numerous manuscripts on their
findings.
His bibliography lists 135
manuscripts which he co-
authored, published in medical
journals throughout the world. He
also co-authored a ; book, Monoc-
lonal Antibody Therapy of Human
Cancer, and given more than 60
lectures throughout the country,
"I want to be someone , who,.
when. I publish something on a
new agent and a disease, people
are going to say: "I'his Ken Foon.
What he publishes we're going to
listen to because it's reproduce-
able. He's going to publish it and
everyone else is going to repro-
duce it because he's right.' That's
very important to me. You don't
want to have,the reputation that,

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