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Ivana and Gary Croghan: Ongoing Research in Cancer and Nicotine Dependence

by Steve Charles
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As a medical oncologist and researcher, Dr. Gary Croghan is involved in numerous ongoing trials of experimental treatments for lung cancer.

"Right now we're working on an antibody ( F-3622) I developed when I was a graduate student, trying to find out if this antibody will be helpful in treating lung cancer patients with malignant effusions (cancer in the liquid of the pleural cavity)," Croghan says. "Surgeons are anxious to see if we can find anytying to treat malignant effusions, because they have such a terrible prognosis."

The F-3622 experiment is only one of many projects Croghan is working on. Read more details at:

WM also spoke with Ivana Croghan about her ongoing research at Mayo's Nicotine Dependence Center.

"We have five studies active right now, and 20 where we’re writing up the results," Ivana says. "We’ve had a couple of examples where new medications or counseling approaches have been successful. We're actually doing one right now that is very specific for people with ADHD. We are testing a medication similar to ritalin as well as nicotine replacement, to see if we can get people with ADHD to stop. One of these people signed up, and three weeks after we started the study, this person was able to quit.

"Seven to eight million people in the U.S. have ADHD, and people with ADHD frequently self-medicate with cigarettes, the cigarette is the stimulant to control the symptoms.

"We put this person on this specific medication, this specific combination, and it did it!

"We had another person who was a recovering alcoholic who had been in several of our studies before. We designed a study which was very specific to people with this kind of background, very intense in certain areas; all of the sudden he stopped.

"The issue is that there are other underlying co-morbidities in smokers besides nicotine dependence; if we can find what that is, and deal with it as the same time as nicotine dependence, that may be the answer.

"So now we’re trying to figure out the other issues. Nothing is unimportant. It could be that one other issue that's holding them back.

"The future of smoking cessation is to take it in context; take into account everything else that’s going on in that person’s life. I really think that that’s the way to go. It’s going to be very hard to convince people to give us the funds to help us out, but that’s the way we really need to go."

Read more about Ivana Croghan's research at