Brain Tumor Program Update
Originally published Spring 2002

As the primary provider of brain tumor services in the Charlotte region, our practice coordinates state-of-the-art technical services, patient support and education along with advanced research trials. Below is an update of services now available through our brain tumor program. For more information, please contact Anthony Asher, M.D., F.A.C.S.,or his research coordinator, Anthony Minichiello at 704-371-5130.

Practice Leads Participation In Glioma Outcome Project
Our practice was the leading institution nationally in the recently completed Glioma Outcome Project, the first prospective multi-institutional study examining outcomes in patients with primary CNS tumors. This important cooperative study involved approximately 60 (primarily academic) institutions nationally.

Practice Physician Named Chairman
Anthony Asher, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Of National Group
Anthony Asher, M.D., F.A.C.S., Director of Brain Tumor Services at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and the Blumenthal Cancer Center, was recently named Chairman of the Brain Organ Site Committee for the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored
cooperative cancer group). In this capacity, Dr. Asher will coordinate and oversee several NCI-sponsored multi-institutional trials involving CNS malignancies. Dr. Asher is the principal investigator of the first ACOSOG protocol for brain tumor patients: “A Phase III Randomized Trial of the Role of Whole Brain Radiation Therapy in Addition to Radiosurgery in the Management of Patients with One to Three Cerebral Metastases.” This protocol recently received approval from the NCI and was opened by the ACOSOG on February 1, 2002, as a national trial.

State-Of-The-Art Radiosurgery Device Coming To Charlotte
Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates’ stereotactic radiosurgery program, based at Carolinas Medical Center and coordinated with Southeast Radiation Oncology Associates, continues to expand. The hospital has recently purchased the Brain Lab Novalis Radiosurgery System, a state-of-the-art, radiosurgery device. When installed, this dedicated radiosurgery device will allow us to grow our radiosurgery program while expanding treatment options for patients with CNS malignancies.

A New Partnership To Provide Brachytherapy
Our practice is also working with Southeast Radiation Oncology Associates to offer a new form of Brachytherapy called the Gliasite Radiation Therapy System. This device promises to offer a mechanism of escalating local dose while sparing surrounding normal brain. This may prove to be an excellent treatment option for patients with locally recurrent gliomas or isolated brain metastases. A phase II protocol involving Gliasite has been activated at Carolinas Medical Center.

Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED) Protocols Improve Treatment Of Tumors.
Over the past two years, the physicians at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates have been particularly active in the development of Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED) protocols for the treatment of primary brain tumors. These specialized techniques involve the infusion of therapeutic agents, such as immunotoxins and radioactive compounds, directly into brain parenchyma in an attempt to improve drug delivery to tumors and minimize systemic toxicities.

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© 2002 Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates