The neuro-oncology program at Rush benefits from the expertise of
neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists and many other specialists. In addition to pooling their knowledge each week at The Coleman Foundation Brain and Spine Tumor Clinic, these experts continually investigate new therapies and search out the latest technology in an effort to match patients with the best possible treatments for their complex, challenging conditions.
Radiotherapy for gliomas: In a study published in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, neurosurgeon Richard Byrne, MD, and radiation oncologist Aidnag Diaz, MD, MPH, and other researchers at Rush demonstrated that it is possible to spare critical brain structures during radiotherapy for patients with high- and low-grade gliomas, an approach that may reduce late cognitive aftereffects of cranial radiotherapy.
TrueBeam STx: In 2011, Rush began installing TrueBeam STx radiosurgical technology (see photo on p. 11), which facilitates new, advanced treatment options — such as stereotactic body radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery — for patients with complex brain and spine tumors (as well as cancers of the lung, head and neck, liver and prostate). Designed to maximize effectiveness and patient comfort, the TrueBeam STx system enables the delivery of larger doses of radiation to well-defined tumors while sparing the surrounding normal tissues. This is performed during treatment sessions that generally take about 30 minutes a day in comparison to equivalent systems that may take more than an hour to perform similar tasks with similar precision. Rush began treating patients with TrueBeam in spring 2012 with Aidnag Diaz, MD, MPH, as its medical director.
Vaccine studies: Neuro-oncologist Robert Aiken, MD, at Rush is participating in a multicenter phase II study to determine the safety and efficacy of ICT-107, a dendritic cell vaccine for the treatment of glioblastoma. The study aims to determine the therapy’s safety and effectiveness in the treatment of newly diagnosed patients following resection and chemoradiation. Aiken is also participating in another
dendritic cell vaccine for newly diagnosed glioblastoma and is the principal investigator on several other clinical trials of newly diagnosed and recurrent malignant brain tumors.
Astrocytoma research: To assess the incidence of the neural stem cell compartment’s involvement in high-grade astrocytomas in adult patients, neurosurgeon Richard Byrne, MD, radiation oncologist Aidnag Diaz, MD, MPH, and other researchers at Rush conducted a retrospective review of 104 cases. The results, published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, supported the hypothesis that the neural stem cell compartment represents the assumed site of origin for these tumors, and that its involvement does not appear to represent a volumetric phenomenon.
Paul Kent, MD
Robert Aiken, MD
Sukriti Nag, MD, PhD
Sharon Byrd, MD; Michael Huckman, MD; Miral Jhaveri, MD; Mehmet Kocak, MD
Richard Byrne, MD; Demetrius Lopes, MD; Lorenzo Muñoz, MD; John O’Toole, MD
Guy Petruzzelli, MD, PhD; R. Mark Wiet, MD
Aidnag Diaz, MD, MPH
Brain Tumor Conference
Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Janet Wolter, MD, Clinical
and Educational Conference Room
1010 Professional Building
Researchers at Rush are investigating a variety of new therapies for patients with brain and spine tumors, including new small
molecules and vaccines for the treatment of glioblastomas. For more information about open clinical trials, visit www.rush.edu/
cancerclinicaltrials. To enroll a patient in a clinical trial, call (312) 942-0600.
For more information about the neuro-oncology program or to refer a patient for an initial visit or a second opinion, please call (312) CANCER-1 (226-2371).