Carrollwood Day School Senior, Evan Huang, has made waves in with his recently published article in the MDPI journal Medicina. Huang's article explores the use of music therapy as a noninvasive treatment to reduce anxiety and pain of colorectal cancer patients.
The use of music therapy in medical treatment is not a new concept, but Huang's article sheds light on the effectiveness of music therapy to meet their psychological, physical, social, and spiritual needs. Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that can cause significant pain and anxiety for patients. Treatment for colorectal cancer can also be invasive, leading to further discomfort and stress for patients.
In his article, Huang highlights the importance of noninvasive treatment options for colorectal cancer patients. Music therapy, he argues, can significantly improve the quality of life for these patients which promotes healing.
Huang's research is particularly impressive given that he is still a high school student. His work highlights the potential for young scientists to make a significant impact in their fields and serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting and encouraging young scientists. Below are some Q and A's with Evan about this impressive accomplishment.
Q. What was the inspiration behind this research and subsequent publication?
A: The main inspiration behind this research project came from my interest in medicine, specifically in medical research. Ever since my dad got his new job at Moffitt Cancer Center, he would tell me about the latest treatments and research being done at Moffitt that I didn't believe were possible. As such, I decided to take a summer course on the basics of medical research. In that summer course, I was tasked with creating a research project on some form of cancer research. Thus, I came up with the topic of researching the impact of music therapy on colorectal cancer. As someone who's always been passionate about music, I sought to combine two of my interests together to eventually create this article. After the camp ended, my passion to turn this project into an actual research paper continued. With the help of my dad, we decided to write a systematic meta-analysis article on the effects of music therapy on colon cancer, which would result in the article we published this year.
Q. Did anything surprise you either about the process of research or the research itself?
A: The biggest surprise to me about the process of research was that the most challenging aspect was not the actual research itself, but the revision process. I was able to complete the article in August of 2022 but we weren't able to publish until March of 2023. I believe we sent it to 4 different open-access journals, all of which were rejected until the 4th journal, called Medicina, where we eventually published the article. What was most challenging was determining if the article in itself was actually getting better after each edit. What would happen is that for each journal, we would send the article, then it would get sent back with comments on how to make it better. We would make those edits but then it would get rejected.
Finally, since our article was a meta-analysis, I was surprised that the most time-consuming part was not writing the article in itself, but reading and taking notes on the different case studies beforehand. In a meta-analysis, you compile all the research on the clinical trials on the topic at the time and find trends and conclusions from it. As such, a large portion of the research is devoted to really breaking down each of the studies and more importantly, finding connections between them in their conclusion.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. In the future, I hope to continue my passion for medicine to eventually become a physician. From this research experience, I hope to be able to write and publish more medical research articles whether that be more review articles or individual clinical studies. I think this experiment is the gateway for me to explore more areas of medicine and the sciences.
Q. Where are you going to college?
Next year, I plan to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
The MDPI journal Medicina is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and has been published since 1920. Huang's article being published in Medicina speaks to the rigor and quality of his research and is a significant accomplishment for any scientist, let alone a high school student.
Take a look at Evan's article.