KRMC hires doctor to head oncology department

Kingman Regional Medical Center, which has begun construction on a new $2.3 cancer center that should be ready to open next February, now has a new cancer specialist.

Dr.

Shahid Malik joined the staff at the hospital as medical director of hematology and oncology on June 1.

He is working in the oncology department in the Medical Professional Building to which the new cancer center is being added.

Malik brings a new approach in cancer treatment.

"We have used conventional chemotherapy in the past and it has multiple side effects, short-term as well as long-term," he said.

"But a new evolving field known as targeted therapies will enable us to specifically target cancer cells thereby sparing normal cells."

Cancer-fighting drugs such as Rituxan, Gleevac or Herceptin are Food and Drug Administration approved and can be introduced intravenously into patients undergoing targeted therapy.

Rituxan can be used in treating low-grade lymphoma, as it specifically seeks out and kills CD20 positive cells.

They are antigens on the cell membrane of lymphoma cells, Sharinne Sears, director of oncology services at KRMC, said.

Gleevac is approved for treating chronic myleogenous leukemia and Herceptin is used to treat breast cancer.

Cituxan is a drug under study for use in targeted therapies.

It is used in treating patients with colon cancer, Malik said.

Other options for patient care also are being explored.

KRMC would like to enter into a partnership with the University of Arizona in Tucson and become involved in its clinical trials, Sears said.

That would enable patients who do not respond well to traditional therapies to try experimental drugs at KRMC, instead of sending them to Tucson.

"Dr.

Malik also has special training in bone marrow transplants," Sears said.

"That may be something else we'll be able to do in the future."

Malik attended Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan for seven years, earning a bachelor of medicine/bachelor of surgery degree in February 1983.

He did three years of residency work, finishing it in 1992 at St.

Vincent's Hospital in Worcester, Mass.

Malik also did two fellowships.

One was for three years in hematology and oncology at Brown University in Providence, R.I., the other one year in bone marrow transplants at Brown University.

Between 1997 and 2001, Malik was an attending physician at Roger William Hospital in Providence and an assistant professor at Boston University.

His family currently is living in Providence, but will move to Kingman.

They include his wife, Farzana, son Zeeshan, 17, and daughter, Erum, 13.

Malik replaces Dr.

Yavavarthi Prasad as medical director of hematology and oncology at KRMC.

Prasad, who held the position for about a year, is moving to practice in Pittsburgh, Pa.