Neuro Oncology Research

At the NYU Brain Tumor Center (NYUBTC) the close interaction and geographic proximity between laboratory based investigators, clinical investigators and clinicians results in a streamlined and efficient flow of information and ideas. For example, every tumor that is surgically removed at NYUBTC is extensively evaluated for genomic/epigenetic mutations and grown in the laboratory for, amongst other purposes, drug testing. Thus, with a patient’s consent, their tumor will not only supply the invaluable reagent that will feed research, but may yield biological clues that may allow their clinicians to devise specific treatments for them tailored to the unique genomic makeup of their particular tumors.

The research base of the NYUBTC is greatly expanded past the core group of NYUBTC investigators through the engagement of laboratory scientists, imaging scientists and computational biologists. This research matrix infrastructure  engages the expertise and resources of investigators and core facilities across the NYU Medical Center and NYU main campuses. At the core of this matrix structure will be focused interactions in cancer biology, neural development and stem cell biology.

World recognized clinical expertise, a large volume of patients, tissue resources, a preclinical therapeutic drug screening facility and a powerful and interactive translational research design and clinical trial infrastructure also stimulates a vibrant interaction with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry allowing the NYUBTC to bring the most novel and promising new therapeutic agents to the clinic for our patients in the most timely manner possible.

At the Perlmutter Cancer Center, neuro oncology investigators strive to:

  • Understand the basic biological drivers of primary brain tumors using central nervous system (CNS) development as a paradigm for understanding tumorigenesis
  • Bring together diverse scientific and clinical expertise for both understanding and treating primary brain tumors in a unique manner
  • Using cutting edge neuro-imaging to help drive the course of patient treatment from surgery to monitoring the effects of radiation and drug treatments

The neuro oncology research program has made significant advances to our basic biological understanding of pediatric and adult brain tumors as well as to new therapeutic approaches. Such advances include:

  • A series of clinical trials with novel agents for children and adults with NF-1
  • A further understanding of the glioma-associated oncometabolite IDH1 through the use of stem cells
  • Novel way of imaging NF-1 associated meningiomas and acoustic neuromas using volumetric assessments
  • Novel combinations of anti-angiogenic agents with gamma knife radiosurgery for acoustic neuromas
  • Novel models of malignant glioma using patient-derived glioma stem cells
  • Multimodality neuro-imaging to compliment intraoperative guidance