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Profile: Dr. Arkadiusz Zbignew Dudek

Issue: Vol.9, No.1 - January 2010

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Article Type: Profile

Dr. Arkadiusz Zbignew Dudek is a world renowned medical oncologist in the field of thoracic malignancies, renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and also an expert in medical oncology phase I and clinical trials. He is presently working as a medical oncologist and is the leader of Solid Tumor Oncology Team in Cancer Experimental Therapeutics Initiative of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Dudek, an American and Polish citizen, was born in December 1963 in Warsaw, Poland. He received his pre-university education in Lyceum Number 14 in Warsaw, Poland. His high school diploma focused in mathematics, physics and biology. After schooling, he studied medicine at the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, during which time he completed a clinical internship rotation in the Cardiology Department at the Pitie-alpetriere hospital in Paris, France. He received a diploma to practice as a physician in Poland in 1989, and he received an Internal Medicine Board Certification in United States in 1994. He went on to complete a medical residency in 1994 in Internal Medicine at the Polyclinic Medical Center in Harrisburg, PA. During that time, he also completed clinical rotations in Gastroenterology, Oncology, Hematology, Rheumatology, and Pulmonary Medicine at the Milton S Hershey Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. An additional clinical rotation was completed in bone marrow transplantation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore MA in 1993.

A year later Dr. Dudek began his fellowship training in medical oncology and hematology at the University of Minnesota's Department of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation. During that fellowship, he was exposed to basic research focused on hematopoiesis under the guidance of Dr. Arne Slungaard and Dr. Catherine Verfaille. During work in the laboratories of both Drs. Slungaard and Verfaille, his research was focused on the role of platelet factor VI in coagulation and hematopoiesis. This resulted in a publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (1997). The first publication was focused on the role of platelet factor IV in clotting, with additional publications in Blood in 1998 and 2003 describing platelet factor IV adhesion of hematopoietic progenitor cells. During this time, he also actively participated in research leading to the publication of a paper in Blood (1998) on how structurally specific heparan sulfates support primitive human hematopoiesis by formation of a mult-imolecular stem cell niche.

Dr. Dudek's work on platelet factor IV was further carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Mayo, where the heterodimer information was described between platelet factor IV and interleukin 8. In 1997, Dr. Dudek completed the fellowship in medical oncology and Hematology and then became a faculty member as an Instructor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation.

The main focus of Dr. Dudek's initial research was on bone marrow transplantation. During this time, his work focused on bronchiolitis obliterans in recipients of bone marrow transplantation, which resulted in a publication in the Biology of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation. Further review of this topic was published in Current Opinion in Oncology. He continued work on hematopoiesis and also started focusing on endothelial cell progenitors together with Dr. Verfaille. He published an original article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation where he described the origin of endothelial progenitors in human postnatal bone marrow. Starting in 2002, his research re-focused over the treatment of solid oncology tumors and from that time he participated in numerous clinical trials. His work on pancreatic cancer resulted in a publication with Drs. Rocha-Lima and Green in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in the year 2002. He also published studies in recurrent small cell lung cancer in Lung in 2005 and analyzed the circulating and angiogenic cytokines in patients with non-small cell lung cancer in Cancer Investigation in 2005. He correlated clinical benefits of gefitinib with skin rash in Lung Cancer (2006). In 2005, he started collaboration with Professor Witold Dzwinel and Dr. Tomasz Arodz from the Institute of Computer Science, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland, focusing on computational methods in developing quantitative structure-activity relationships. The work was published in Combination Chemical High Throughput Screen. Focus on new drug development resulted in a number of other publications, looking at the protein kinase C-_ inhibitor enzastaurin in combination with radiation. This work was done together with Dr. Peter Jasinski from the University of Vienna, Austria. At the same time, Dr. Dudek worked on bevacizumab radiation enhancement and published this work in the International Journal of Cancer (2007), as well as a novel quinoline, MT477, a PKC and a Ras inhibitor (2007). His interest in immunotherapy under the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Miller resulted in a publication in clinical immunology on vaccines and later on a novel systemic toll-like receptor 7 agonist in a phase I clinical trial in Clinical Cancer Research (2007). Work on autologous large multivalent immunogen vaccines for patients with metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma was described in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology (2008). His interest in kidney cancer resulted in multiple collaborations on international studies. He was acknowledged as a participant on Record One study group in Lancet, 2008 and Target study group in the Journal National Cancer Institute of 2008. His original contribution of sequential therapy in renal cell carcinoma resulted in publication in Cancer (2008). This work was done in collaboration with Professor Cezary Szczylik from the Military Medical School in Warsaw, Poland.

Basic laboratory research in recent years has focused on using endothelial cell precursors for systemic delivery of cancer gene therapy. This work was published in the British Journal of Cancer. During his research activities, Dr. Dudek has been a mentor to numerous physicians and researchers from India, Iran and Poland, with these mentorships resulting in numerous publications of case reports from Dr. Dudek's clinical practice in the Masonic Cancer Clinic of the University of Minnesota.

His current work continues to focus on systemic delivery of gene therapy using a cell-based system. In addition, he continues to work on clinical research in lung cancer, mesothelioma, kidney cancer, melanoma, and in the development of phase I clinical trials.

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