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Center for Neuro-Oncology Leads New Brain Tumor Guidelines Paper and Advances Participation in Immunotherapy Trials for Glioblastoma Patients

Capital Health’s Center for Neuro-Oncology, part of Capital Institute for Neurosciences and the Capital Health Cancer Center, continues to demonstrate nationally the program’s leadership and commitment to clinical excellence. Over the last month, the center’s neurosurgical director, Navid Redjal, MD, FAANS, led publication of guidelines for the treatment of brain tumors, in addition to announcing the participation of Capital Health in two new immunotherapy trials for glioblastoma patients.

Navid Redjal, MD FAANS
     Navid Redjal, MD FAANS

“Our commitment to our patients is to provide exceptional care with treatment plans specifically developed to meet each individual patient’s needs,” said Dr. Navid Redjal, director, Neurosurgical Oncology. “To offer this, we have to stay at the forefront of new options, and provide leadership in the broader medical community on what we offer patients with brain tumors. This allows us to consider what will best meet the needs of our patients, and be involved in taking care to the next level.”

Dr. Redjal, who runs the program’s multi-disciplinary Brain Tumor Clinic, as well as the program’s weekly brain tumor board where patient’s care plans are all reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, was lead author on a recently published paper discussing updated evidence-based guidelines for treating brain tumors in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology. The new paper can be found here:

 "Guidelines in the Management of CNS Tumors"

The paper, which includes co-authors from Massachusetts General Hospital, Case Western, Mount Sinai, and Emory, was part of his work with the Joint Section on Tumors of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).

Capital Health also recently added two new immunotherapy trials, being run by the National Cancer Institute to its clinical trial research program. Both trials involve immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab and nivulomab in treating glioblastoma.

Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the immune system to help fight diseases, such as cancer. New approaches using immunotherapy are being tested to see how it works as part of different treatment plans. Glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive cancer that is very difficult to treat.

“Immunotherapy has shown itself to be effective in treating many cancers. Glioblastoma, however has not responded to traditional immunotherapy approaches because it is what is referred to as a “cold” tumor. Unlike “hot” tumors, cold tumors are not recognized by, and do not provoke a response by, the immune system,” said Dr. Neel Gandhi, Medical Director, Hematologic and Oncologic Diseases, and a principal co-investigator of one of the immunotherapy trials. “In a cancer like glioblastoma, new research is focusing on turning this "cold" tumor "hot,” to then stimulate the immune system to respond and attack the tumor. This can be tested by combining immunotherapy with surgery and radiation therapy. The hope is that future immunotherapy protocols will be successful in treating glioblastoma using this approach."

The Center for Neuro-Oncology participates in, and develops, numerous research studies and clinical trials. The goal is to help provide greater understanding, develop new methods to detect and diagnose those diseases, and focus on innovative treatments that are not broadly available to patients.

Clinical trials offer patients some of the very latest in care while giving physicians and researchers the opportunity to study the safety and effectiveness of new treatments. Participation is voluntary.

Our experienced neuro-oncology team, carefully review study criteria, potential benefits, risks, and other considerations with eligible patients for enrollment into a clinical study. Once enrolled, our clinical research staff carefully monitors patients throughout the research trial and is available to answer questions.

Over the last decade, Capital Health and its Institute for Neurosciences have been trusted providers of advanced neuroscience care for patients in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Some of the most complicated patients we treat are those who are diagnosed with brain tumors. For those patients, access to advanced care must be coupled with access to clinical trials and supportive services.

Learn more about our Center for Neuro-Oncology at