Jefferson Brain Tumor Center

About Us

The Brain Tumor Division was established by Dr. Andrews in 1995 at Jefferson. In 2008 we established the multidisciplinary CNS Tumor Group at the Bodine Center and moved the Brain Tumor weekly conference to the Bodine Center in 2015 to consolidate a broader multidisciplinary team that comprised the Brain Tumor Center. The Tumor Board meets at 7-8 AM every Monday (with CME credits for all participants) and is immediately followed by the multidisciplinary clinic from 8 AM to noon. Because of the pandemic we became virtual in March of 2020 and weekly attendance has swelled weekly to over 30 participants and the patient roster has increased to 10-15 cases discussed each week. 

The Brain Tumor Center at Thomas Jefferson University is a comprehensive center for the diagnosis and management of all brain tumor types. We are a group of four brain tumor neurosurgeons, three radiation  oncologists, three neuro-oncologists, four neuro-radiologists, two neuro-pathologists, as well as    advanced practice providers, nurses, and administrators. We meet weekly with our colleagues at our multi-disciplinary tumor board and review all patient scans, pathology slides and discuss the best courses of  treatment. Patients benefit from our collegial group approach where each of the team members contribute with their opinion and expertise. Moreover, we are very active in research and clinical trials in an attempt to do better for our brain tumor patients.

Our Team

At the Jefferson Brain Tumor Center we have experts in all aspects of benign and malignant brain tumor care and work closely with our colleagues in Radiation Oncology, Neurology, Oncology, Otolaryngology and Radiology.

Services

Encompassing benign extra-axial tumor and Intra-axial low grade and malignant tumors our specialists have developed advanced techniques for treating the most complex of tumors in any location in the central nervous system.

Faculty

David Andrews, MD Professor, Neurological Surgery 215-955-7000

James Evans, MD Professor, Neurological Surgery & Otolaryngology
Division Chief, Brain Tumor and Stereotactic Radiosurgery Division
Director, Cranial Base and Pituitary Surgery
Director, Cranial Base and Endoscopic Surgery Fellowship
215-955-7000

Christopher Farrell, MD Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
Director, Neurological Surgery Residency Program
215-955-7000

Kevin Judy, MD Professor, Neurological Surgery 215-503-0524

Our team of Neuro-Oncologists coordinate comprehensive and cutting edge treatment for our patients. We systematically review each case at our weekly multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Board and actively engage our patients in a number of ongoing institutional and national clinical trials.

Faculty

Iyad Alnahhas, MD, MSc Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurological Surgery
Division of Neuro-oncology
215-955-4866

Nina L. Martinez, MD Assistant Professor, Neurology & Neurological Surgery 215-955-6316

At the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, innovations in stereotactic radiosurgery have been ongoing since the inception of the program in 1994. With a Gamma Knife and the world’s first installation of a linear accelerator designed for and dedicated to stereotactic radiation, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists have worked together to refine techniques in stereotactic radiation. They have pioneered fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy, or FSR for short, and designed national trials which have led to new standards of care for a variety of diseases including brain metastases, malignant gliomas, acoustic neuromas, and optic nerve sheath meningiomas. For these diseases, FSR has prolonged life, preserved hearing, and recovered vision in patients who otherwise would have had no options.

Publications which have reshaped standard practice include:

  • Neurosurgery 2002, the first paper describing FSR for optic nerve sheath meningiomas demonstrating recovery of vision (over 120 citations)
  • The International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics 2001, the first paper demonstrating an advantage of FSR over single fraction radiosurgery for patients with acoustic neuromas (over 180 citations)
  • The Lancet 2004, the first prospective randomized trial demonstrating the benefit of radiosurgery when coupled to whole brain radiation for patients with brain metastases (over 890 citations)
  • The Journal of Clinical Oncology 2010, the first paper to demonstrate that FSR boost to recurrent gliomas is not only safe but effective in extending life with quality in patients with malignant gliomas (over 50 citations and serving as the basis for a new RTOG protocol)

As we look to the future, we are designing new protocols that promise to improve hearing in acoustic tumor patients and preserve cognition in patients with brain metastases. Our original linear acceleratorhas recently been replaced by the state-of-the-art Varian Truebeam STX Slim allowing us to achieve new heights in precisely sculpted patient-specific stereotactic radiation treatments.

Encompassing a wide variety of pathologies involving the skull base, our team of surgeons treat benign and malignant skull base tumors and perform decompression procedures for facial pain and hemi-facial spasm.

A multidisciplinary team of surgeons using minimally invasive endoscopic techniques to treat a variety of skull base tumors and conditions together with our colleagues from the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

Clinical Trials & Research

At the Jefferson Brain Tumor Center we offer numerous cutting edge clinical trials for our patients and are involved in ongoing brain tumor research.

  • The NRG BN007 trial is testing the use of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab and nivolumab plus radiation therapy compared to the usual treatment (temozolomide and radiation therapy) for newly diagnosed MGMT unmethylated glioblastoma.
  • The TRIDENT trial (also known as the “EF-32 trial”) is a randomized, controlled study, testing the safety and efficacy of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) from the Optune® System [About TTFields] together with radiation therapy and temozolomide in newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) patients. 

  • A study of PRT811 in participants with advanced solid tumors, CNS lymphoma and gliomas.
  • Testing the Addition of the Immune Therapy Drugs, Tocilizumab and Atezolizumab, to Radiation Therapy for Recurrent Glioblastoma
  • Study of BDTX-1535, in Participants with Glioblastoma or Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • A study of HMPL-306 in advanced solid tumors with IDH mutations.
  • Scalp-sparing intensity-modulated stereotactic radiation therapy in treating patients with grade II-IV glioma 

A study of PRT811 in participants with advanced solid tumors, CNS lymphoma and gliomas

Immunotherapy with nivolumab and multi-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery with or without ipilimumab in treating patients with recurrent grade II-III meningioma. 

  • Genetic testing in guiding treatment for patients with brain metastases.
  • Single fraction stereotactic radiosurgery compared with fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery in treating patients with resected metastatic brain disease. 

Neuro-Oncology & Skull Base Surgery Fellowship

We offer CAST- approved fellowship training in Surgical Neuro-Oncology and in Skull Base Surgery. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Brain Tumor Support Group

The group is open to patients with all types of brain tumors, along with their families. It offers a wonderful opportunity to meet others facing similar situations and feelings.