Dr. Delbert Day, Curators’ Professor Emeritus of ceramic engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has made a name for himself in cancer research. Now his name will be associated with a cancer institute at Phelps County Regional Medical Center.
PCRMC announced on Wednesday, Jan. 12, the creation of the Delbert Day Cancer Institute. Funded through a gift from Day’s son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Kim Day, the institute will allow the medical center to participate in research and clinical trials.
The institute will allow PCRMC to work with the National Cancer Institute’s Community Clinical Oncology Program, which connects local patients and physicians with NCI-sponsored new treatments and clinical trials for drugs. Through the Delbert Day Cancer Institute, PCRMC patients will have access to new therapies and treatments.
An expert in developing specialty glasses, Day is best known for co-inventing glass microspheres, now marketed under the brand name TheraSphere, which are used commercially in the United States and Canada to treat patients with liver cancer. The treatment consists of injecting millions of the irradiated tiny beads – each one about half the thickness of a human hair – into the main artery supplying blood to the liver. The beads then deliver localized radiation to malignant cells without harming healthy tissue.
Day and co-inventor Gary J. Ehrhardt of the University of Missouri-Columbia started their research on the glass beads in 1982 and received their first patent for the beads in 1988. TheraSphere was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States in February 2000.
Day was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 in recognition of his development of the TheraSphere beads. He also is co-founder of Mo-Sci Corp., which manufactures specialty glass products used in the transportation, electronics, sporting goods, aerospace and health care industries. Ted Day is now president of the company.
Day has served Missouri S&T for nearly 50 years in various teaching, research and administrative capacities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, now Missouri S&T, in 1958. He also earned a master of science degree and doctorate in ceramic technology from Pennsylvania State University in 1960 and 1961, respectively.
Day is currently a senior investigator at the Missouri S&T Graduate Center for Materials Research. He served as director of that center from 1983-1992.