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September 4, 2018 - Physician profile: Dr. Art Frankel looks to advances in treatment

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“Immunotherapy. We’re working to increase its effectiveness in cancer patients.”

 MOBILE, Alabama -- Medical oncologist Dr. Arthur E. “Art” Frankel is exploring how specific gut bacteria or probiotics can enhance cancer immunotherapy by stimulating dendritic cells leading to more tumor cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

Dr. Frankel describes immunotherapy as one of the most important advances in the past decade against an ever-evolving cancer. “If you can activate the immune system, the large variety and number of lymphocytes can attack an ever-changing tumor," he says. 

He is the first MCI faculty member to hold the title of Arlene and Mayer Mitchell Chair in Medical Oncology, established with a gift from the Mayer and Arlene Mitchell Charitable Foundation.

Prior to joining UT Southwestern, Dr. Frankel was executive director of the Cancer Research Institute at Scott & White Hospital/Texas A&M School of Medicine. He had also served at Wake Forest University, the Medical University of South Carolina, the Florida Hospital Cancer and Leukemia Research Center, and Duke University.

Dr. Frankel is interested in helping oncologists and communities across south Alabama navigate the rapid advances in cancer care and the explosion of knowledge that comes with new treatments.

Despite being smaller than some academic cancer centers, MCI can make a big difference through translational research and treatment, he said. “Our hope is that cancer research discoveries in Mobile will improve the lives of patients both in the Gulf and elsewhere.”

The Austin, Texas, native earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Harvard University. He completed a research postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, and a residency and medical oncology fellowship at Stanford University.

Frankel is a co-inventor on 12 issued patents and has authored or co-authored more than 250 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His current research interests include cancer innate immunity, gut microbiome, and immune resistance pathways. His clinical care is focused on melanoma patients.


Ask your physician for a referral to USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute or call 251-410-HOPE for an appointment.

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