Ladies Auxiliary VFW awards grant to UTHSC professor


San Antonio (Oct. 31, 2003) – Charles R. Thomas Jr., M.D.,  vice chairman and associate professor in the department of  radiation oncology at The University of Texas Health Science  Center at San Antonio (UTHSC), received a $15,000 grant  from the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars for  his research of radiation therapy for lung and esophageal cancer. Dr. Thomas focuses a large part of his research and  patient care on improving the quality of life and patient care  for veterans.

Dr. Thomas’ research focuses on three aspects of treating cancer: 1) combining chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat cancer while minimizing damage to normal tissues, 2) administering conformal or 3-dimensional radiotherapy, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy, in patients with lung tumors, and 3) studying cytoprotective (normal cell protection) strategies for patients receiving radiation therapy.

The Ladies Auxiliary VFW gives grants to organizations, hospitals and schools for cancer research each year. The organization gave $85,000 to five organizations, including UTHSC, this year. “We were very happy to have the support of the Ladies Auxiliary because we are committed to providing the highest quality care to our veterans, who appear to bear a disproportionate burden of thoracic cancers,” Dr. Thomas said.

Dr. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Dartmouth College and his doctorate in medicine from the University of Illinois. He is a member of the National Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology, and the American Association for Cancer Research. He has been a guest lecturer at many events, including oral presentations of two papers on lung cancer and esophageal cancer at the 44th annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology, and at several medical schools and cancer centers throughout the nation. Dr. Thomas is funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute and has received the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology Travel Award and the American Radium Society Visiting Oncologist Award.

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