Demos T. Kyrazis, Ph.D., lives in Albuquerque, N.M. Following his third retirement in 1993, he and wife Joanne founded R-Cubed Inc., an engineering firm specializing in precision measurements of optical turbulence in the atmosphere, aero-optics and efficient extraction of wind energy. He served in the United States Air Force for 30 years, retiring as a colonel. He received his doctorate degree in applied science from the University of California Davis and holds a number of patents. He is a survivor of hairy cell leukemia and currently a prostate cancer patient at MD Anderson. He is on the Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialization Advisory Group of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors.
In 1983, two days before Christmas, a routine flight physical resulted in a diagnosis of hairy cell leukemia. My doctor explained that the available treatment would kill me before the leukemia did. He estimated a two-year life expectancy. Thankfully, a couple of weeks later, he read an MD Anderson paper in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the remission of seven hairy cell leukemia patients treated with alpha interferon. He showed me the article. I agreed that, if accepted, I would participate in any future study. On Feb. 29, 1984, I became patient No. 6 in the drug’s second clinical trial. MD Anderson’s multidisciplinary approach impressed me then, and I continue to believe that it’s one of the few places in the world that have the collection of talents required to properly approach the cancer problem. Because of that, here I am. At age 81, I’m blessed to be able to maintain a heavy technical work schedule ― and recently agreed, tentatively, to retire perhaps by 90. Those who know me say they’re not taking bets.
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