Yet, observes Schmidt, the device he invented has impressed a notable researcher and inspired his hometown, Erie, Pa., to the point where it gave him a key to the city in April.
Asked by Schmidt what made him think he could cure cancer, Kanzius replied with a laugh, "What made me think I couldn't cure cancer? Nobody else was doing it!"
A former radio and TV engineer and one-time station owner, Kanzius, who suffers from leukemia, hated his chemotherapy and saw its devastating effect on others.
"I ran into some of the same patients over and over again and, to see their smiles disappear within a few weeks, and then watch their hair disappear and then, clinging to their mothers asking, 'What's wrong with me?' was heartbreaking."
Kanzius, who'd been building radios since childhood, believed radio waves could somehow be harnessed to destroy cancer, without drugs or invasive surgery.
"I envision this treatment taking no more than a couple of minutes or so," he says.
Kanzius hopes cancer treatments could work something like this: A patient would be injected with tiny metal nano-particles, which would be carried through the bloodstream by a targeting molecule and attach only to cancerous cells. The patient would then be exposed to an energy field created by radio waves, and feel nothing, while the nano-particles would generate enough heat to destroy their cancerous host cell.