Nicholas Zaorsky, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Institute for CyberScience (ICS) - Associate
Dr. Nicholas Zaorsky’s international research has several themes.
First, he writes guidelines for the treatment of prostate cancer. His work centers on the indications, contraindications, logistics and toxicities of different treatment modalities to ensure quality patient care and institutional standards.
Second, his work centers on oncologic meta-analyses, which combine international data to provide summary statements with the highest-level evidence to compare treatments. One of the themes of his work is dose fractionation in radiation oncology - the ideal doses that should be used to treat cancer.
Third, Dr. Zaorsky is an expert in oncology-epidemiology, that is, the study of public health and oncology. His works identify patients who are at highest risk of death from cancer vs. other causes and to compare the effectiveness of different treatment options for cancer. His work has led to the design of clinical trials that focus on lifestyle modification (such as with exercise therapy and diet) for the treatment of cancer.
At Penn State, Dr. Zaorsky has integrated these research interests in the design of his clinical trial Exercise + Radiation Therapy (EXERT). The American Cancer Society, National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American College of Sports Medicine recommend exercise therapy to improve outcomes and limit toxicity. However, to date, most clinical studies of exercise therapy are limited to patients receiving chemotherapy or those with localized (non-metastatic) breast or prostate cancer. The rationale for the EXERT study is that 60 percent of cancer patients receive radiation therapy, and few studies have assessed the role of radiation therapy and exercise therapy outside of localized prostate and breast cancer, two disease sites where survival is generally excellent, and toxicities are limited. The long-term goal is to identify potential for exercise therapy to improve radiation therapy treatment outcomes and toxicities among cancer patients.
- Prostatic Neoplasms
- Neoplasm Metastasis
- Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma
- Radiation Oncology