“Vocal” Support for Dick Vitale

Sep 7, 2023

Shout out—pun intended—to the hyperverbal, hyperbolic, and all-around hyper college basketball broadcaster, Dick Vitale aka Dickie V who was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and recently underwent treatment for it. Sidelined and instructed not to talk for four weeks, the 84-year-old compensates with nonstop emoji-filled (💪❤️ 🙏 🎤) texts according to an article from Sports Illustrated,[1] which some might claim is not “write”.

King Louis XV of France (1710–74) famously said, “Après moi, le déluge” (After me, the flood). Well, King Dickie Vitale might have said, referring to his texting torrent, “Après voix, le deluge” (After my voice, the flood). (Yeah, it doesn’t quite make sense, just go with it).

Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a public health crisis with more 900,000 cases diagnosed per year. The major risk factors are alcohol, smoking, a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, which Dick reportedly suffers from, and human papilloma virus (HPV).

The side effects from radiation and chemotherapy, which Vitale reportedly just finished, are not trivial and include oral mucositis or painful inflammation of the mouth and throat.

EpicentRx is in startup for a Phase 2 clinical trial called KEVLARx where nibrozetone (RRx-001) will be given with chemotherapy and radiation to prevent or reduce severe oral mucositis. The trial will start too late for DV who has already received treatment, but hopefully in time for some of 66,920 individuals (49,190 men and 17,730 women) that are diagnosed with HNC per year in the US.

This is Dick’s third bout with cancer, having survived melanoma and lymphoma.

But for him 3rd time’s a charm.

“I have so much energy and enthusiasm left in the tank/I will match my drive/desire with any 22 YR OLD. … I am greedy and want to be the first broadcaster to walk in and call a game at 100. Heck, that is only 18 years to go. Don’t bet against it happening/I guess nothing wrong with dreaming baby! … I just need MY VOICE BACK,” he texted.

🙏 to that, Dick.

We need you to spread the word, like only you can, Dickie V, about head and neck cancer risk factors and the soon-to-start KEVLARx clinical trial with nibrozetone (RRx-001).

Here’s hoping for a speedy return to the 🎤 and that you make it well past 💯.

[1] https://www.si.com/college/2022/02/18/dick-vitale-vocal-cords-surgery-cancer-texting-daily-cover