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Haluszka, Former White House Medical Consultant, Becomes Fox Chase Cancer Center's Director of GI Endoscopy

PHILADELPHIA (May 21, 2002)- Oleh Haluszka, M.D., a new resident of Elkins Park, Pa., has joined Fox Chase Cancer Center's medical oncology staff as director of gastrointestinal endoscopy. Dr. Haluszka comes to Fox Chase from the University of Maryland. He was also medical consultant for the White House medical department from 1998 to 2000.

A board-certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Haluszka will focus on interventional endoscopy for patients with a wide variety of intestinal problems. Endoscopy uses a flexible, lighted tube - an endoscope - to examine the gastrointestinal tract.

In addition to standard diagnostic techniques using some form of endoscope, interventional endoscopy procedures may range from palliative procedures for relief of symptoms to techniques to treat patients with early forms of intestinal cancer. For many patients, an endoscopic intervention may precede or even replace a more invasive surgical procedure.

Haluszka's clinical and research interests include therapeutic endoscopy for cancer and other diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts, liver and gallbladder and treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding. He also is skilled in new techniques for enteral (gastrointestinal) stenting. This procedure uses the endoscope to open blocked bile ducts or other gastrointestinal passages and place a stent, or wire tube, to keep them open.

Another technique he uses is endoscopic ultrasound for cancer diagnosis. Ultrasound-guided endoscopy can remove a small tissue sample, or biopsy, for diagnosing gastrointestinal cancer.

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is also valuable for staging-determining the extent, or stage, of a cancer, necessary information for planning therapy. In some cases, EUS can assist in pain control through the performance of an ultrasound-guided nerve block.

"Endoscopy has evolved from a diagnostic technique to a valuable tool in cancer treatment and prevention," said Haluszka.

"For example, we can use colonoscopy to find and remove precancerous polyps and actually prevent a colon or rectal cancer from developing. By combining new imaging techniques, like EUS, with endoscopic resections, we can offer selected patients minimally invasive endoscopy in place of a surgical procedure."

As well as screening and treating patients at average risk, Haluszka will see high-risk patients in Fox Chase's Gastrointestinal Tumor Risk Assessment Program. It is designed to provide health education, genetic counseling, molecular diagnostics and screening guidelines to men and women at increased risk of colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic and other GI tumors because of their family or personal medical history. Before joining Fox Chase, Haluszka had been director of GI endoscopy and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland since 1995. Previously, in San Diego, Calif., he was director of endoscopy at the Naval Medical Center, staff gastroenterologist at the U.S. Naval Hospital and clinical instructor in medicine at the University of California. A Navy medical officer since entering medical school, Haluszka was promoted to captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve medical corps in 1998.

After receiving his bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College, Haluszka earned his M.D. in 1982 at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society.

He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, where he also held a two-year fellowship in gastroenterology. In addition, he was an endoscopy fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

He has been developing, performing and teaching advanced endoscopic procedures in a tertiary referral setting ever since. Haluszka has published a number of research papers and has presented several invited lectures, including serving as a symposium panelist at the 1999 Japanese Digestive Disease Meeting in Hiroshima. His professional memberships include the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at or call 1-888-FOX CHASE.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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