A native of New York City, Dr. Eric J. Lentsch moved to Louisville, Kentucky early in childhood and spent most of his formative years there. He received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Kentucky and a medical degree from the University of Louisville in 1992. After completing a residency in otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery at the University of Louisville, he served as a fellow in head and neck surgery at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, from 1999 until 2001. In 2001, he returned to the University of Louisville as the Louisa Bumgardner professor of otolaryngologic research within the Division of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. There, he served as the director of research and received the Vincent J. Hyams Award for excellence in resident education three times. In addition, he established and led the multidisciplinary head and neck cancer clinic at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. In December 2006, Dr. Lentsch moved from Louisville to Charleston to join the Department of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Dr. Lentsch’s clinical interests include head and neck oncology, general otolaryngology, endoscopic sinus surgery, and endocrine surgery using minimally invasive techniques for thyroid and parathyroid surgery. For several years, Dr. Lentsch has used a video-assisted technique for thyroidectomy and currently has one of the largest series of patients who have undergone this technique in the United States.
Dr. Lentsch’s research interests focus on how head and neck cancers invade and spread. His past research has studied the role of specific proteases, known as cathepsins, in the invasion and spread of head and neck cancers. He also has used microarray analysis in an attempt to predict tumor aggressiveness based on initial biopsy specimens -- studies that could lead to better use of diagnostic and treatment regimens and better survival rates and quality of life for head and neck cancer patients. Dr. Lentsch hopes to continue similar research studies at the Medical University of South Carolina.