Our Approach to Neuro-Oncology Treatment
Our commitment to discovery-driven medicine has helped our specialists establish new protocols in the treatment of primary and metastatic tumors, particularly in the areas of radiation implant therapy, chemotherapy wafer implant therapy and radiotherapy.
Clinical Trials and Early Drug Development in Neuro-oncology
Our goal is to design innovative clinical trials for patients with brain tumors who have failed conventional therapy and test new therapeutic hypotheses based on our three scientific missions: immune modulation, angiogenesis, and cell signaling and biomarkers. The program, in collaboration with the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Cancer Center, is opening clinical trials for primary brain tumors and brain metastases. For example, recent trials have been initiated to evaluate the role of front-line vaccines in newly diagnosed GBM, or immune modulators in combinations with bevacizumab, radiation, or chemotherapy for recurrent GBM.
Basic and Translational Research
Our research program focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying brain tumors that have the highest potential to translate into clinically relevant therapies. Our core facilities have the ability to explore the entire genome of the brain tumors using next-generation sequencing technology. Current evaluations are underway to explore the regulation of the EGFR gene in GBM, and to detect circulating blood markers (Detection of EGFRvIII mutant DNA in the peripheral blood of brain tumor patients. J. Neurooncol. 2013 Jul 23). Our innovative immunology program has identified new pathways (such as IDO or Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase) that will be evaluated in a clinical intervention in a GBM trial activated for fall 2013.
Our clinical practice is patient- and family-centered. Dedicated resources have been allocated to offer the strongest support for our brain tumor patients and their families. A patient navigator (see p. 4 in this issue) helps the patients through the different multimodal steps of their therapy and during the healing phase of their recovery period. An integrative medicine program will be launched in fall 2013 with a specific focus on a mind-body approach. It will include meditation, acupuncture, yoga, reiki, music therapy, hypnosis, aromatherapy, healing touch, and other supportive-care methods to enhance the efficacy of conventional therapies and reduce their toxicities.