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February 2003
Volume 1, Issue 1
MGH Neurosurgical Society Alumni News







"In sumSharon, a vibrant and compassionate collection of experts and ideas tries to provide the best possible care both in terms of standard and innovative therapies."
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The staff meets in a weekly conference to review patient care and treatment options as well as to review cases that were submitted from outside institutions or physicians for an opinion.


For malignant tumors of the brain, we currently belong to the NABTT (New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy) consortium that encompasses multiple institutions in the Eastern and Southern USA. Through this consortium, several phase I and II clinical trials of novel chemotherapy and biologic (gene therapy and immunotoxins) agents are performed for patients afflicted with malignant glioma, metastases and lymphoma. In addition, brain tumor investigator-initiated or company-sponsored clinical trials are also being performed. For example, a phase I trial for patients with malignant recurrent glioma using intratumoral injections of ONYX-015, a replicative tumor-selective adenovirus, was recently completed.

BTC efforts are being supported not only thorough clinical revenue, but also through government grants. We were recently awarded a neuro-

oncologist research training fellowship to allow for training of two neuro-oncologists per year. A multimillion dollar program project research grant on gene therapy for brain tumors is in its seventh year of funding. Several basic research laboratories from BTC clinicians and other collaborators feed off the clinical expertise available in the center for research project initiation and completion. Finally, the generosity of several patients allows for funding of several research projects.

In sumSharon, a vibrant and compassionate collection of experts and ideas tries to provide the best possible care both in terms of standard and innovative therapies. The hope is that progress in treatment is forthcoming for some of these tumors, which are currently so difficult to treat.

News of Note
Steven Brem was awarded Physician of the Year by the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Center in Tampa, Florida.

Paul H. Chapman, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at the MGH, was named the first Nicholas T. Zervas Professor in Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School. The Zervas Chair was awarded to former chief of MGH Neurosurgery, Nicholas T. Zervas.

The professorship, which is to be held by a faculty member in the MGH Neurosurgery Department, honors Dr. Zervas' dedication and many contributions to the field of neurosurgery.

Zoher Ghogawala is coordinating with Lawrence Borges and Edward Benzel a national multi-center clinical trial looking at fusion versus no fusion for patients with symptomatic spinal stenosis with a grade I spondylolisthesis.

Roberto Heros completed his term as President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Michael Lavyne has been appointed Professor of Clinical Neurosurgery by the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Burton Onofrio has been appointed Professor Chair at the Mayo Clinic.

Harold Wilkinson recently retired from surgery, but will continue a limited consultative practice at MGH and Newton-Wellesley Hospital's Spine Clinic.

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