Iakovos Toumazis wins a student paper competition

Authors. From left: Dr. Murat Kurt, Dr. Loukia G. Karacosta, Mr. Iakovos Toumazis, Dr. Changhyun Kwon (Miss Artemis Toumazi, the last author, is not in the photo.)

Iakovos Toumazis (center) receiving the award at the 2015 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference.

PhD student Iakovos Toumazis won the the 2015 Society for Health Systems Graduate Student Paper Competition award with his paper “Scheduling palliative chemotherapy treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer patients”, which he co-authored with Dr. Loukia G. Karacosta, Miss Artemis Toumazi and his advisors Drs. Murat Kurt and Changhyun Kwon.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer with more than 135,000 estimated new cases in 2014, and the second most lethal affecting both men and women with over 50,000 estimated deaths. The number of fatalities associated with CRC has decreased during the last couple of decades (on average by 2.8% each year), mostly due to increased public awareness and improved screening and treatment methods. Despite such improvements, only about 12.9% of metastatic CRC patients survive longer than 5 years. Chemotherapy, is the prevailing treatment option to patients diagnosed with late-staged disease; either alone or combined with radiotherapy and/or targeted therapy. Chemotherapy treatment affects both cancer and normal cells. Therefore, oncologists consider the tradeoff between tumor size reduction and treatment’s toxicity. In addition, oncologists often encounter tumor drug resistance, which develops after long exposure to the same drugs.

More information about his work is at his personal website.