Creator of breakthrough treatment for vocal cord cancer to deliver DeLynn Lecture

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Steven M. Zeitels, M.D., the nationally and internationally renowned surgeon whose groundbreaking approach to treating vocal cord cancer has saved some of the most famous voices in the world, is coming to West Virginia University.

Dr. Zeitels will deliver the 2009 Laurence and Jean DeLynn Lecture at 1 p.m., June 5, in the Fukushima Auditorium of the Health Sciences Center.  A reception will follow.

Zeitels developed a minimally invasive approach to treating patients with vocal cord cancer.  He uses a special laser called an angiolytic laser that targets the tumor’s blood supply, kills the cancer cells and leaves normal tissue intact, without cutting away tissue.  Traditional treatment involves surgery or radiation, which permanently damages the voice. 

Zeitels is speaking on "The Influence of Laryngology and Voice Management in Medicine, Surgery & Oncology."

Zeitels, known as voice doctor to the stars, has used the novel treatment on Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Cher and Julie Andrews to preserve the health of their vocal cords.  All 23 patients in his five-year pilot study of early vocal cord cancer treated with the angiolytic laser are cancer-free without damage to their voices.

Zeitels is director of the Center for Laryngeal Sugery and Voice Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital and Eugene B. Casey Professor of Larnygeal Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

“We are extremely honored to welcome Dr. Zeitels to our campus,” said Scot  C. Remick, M.D., director of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at WVU.  “It is a tremendous opportunity to have the creator of cutting-edge cancer treatments share his unique insights with our scientific and clinical community.”

Zeitels’ surgical innovations include more than 20 new laryngeal and pharyngeal procedures. He has received three laryngoscope patents.  A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine in 1982, he received the distinguished alumnus award from the BU School of Medicine in 2007.

For more than two decades WVU has welcomed prominent and prestigious speakers such as Zeitels to lecture on campus thanks to the generosity of the DeLynn family.  The list also includes ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson, former White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan and Michael Phelps, the inventor of PET scanning technology.

Jean and Laurence DeLynn established the DeLynn Lecture Series in 1992 with an endowed gift to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.   The series provides educational and informational presentations in the area of cancer research, treatment, education, and prevention.

For information about the DeLynn Lecture see


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ss/ab: 05-08-09

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