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Cancer Care Specialty Updates

September 2016

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— Elizabeth Neil, MD

Physician joins neuro-oncology team

Neuro-oncologist Elizabeth C. Neil, MD, joins University of Minnesota Health Cancer Care. Board-certified in neurology, Neil completed a 4-year residency at the University of Cincinnati and a 2-year fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering, thereby also earning a board certification in neurooncology through the United Counsel for Neurologic Specialties. Neil brings a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of central nervous system tumors. She also pursues research into the development of technology for delivering drugs to tumors across the blood-brain barrier.

Phase II trial of brain tumor therapies now enrolling

Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota announces open enrollment in a phase II clinical trial investigating drug therapies used in the treatment of embryonal or germ cell tumors. The study will examine use of the durable drug melphalan when it is given in combination with other drugs designed to cross the blood-brain barrier. Patients aged 1 to 30 are being recruited for the study, and Christopher Moertel, MD, is the investigator. Along with the Masonic Cancer Center, the OHSU Knight Cancer Center in Portland, OR, serves as a site for the trial.

— Matthew Hunt, MD

Also conducted at these locations, a second phase II clinical trial tests the same drug combination when used with a slightly older population. The trial, currently underway and closed for enrollments, examines patients aged 18 to 75 who have been previously treated for brain tumors and are in relapse. University of Minnesota Health neurosurgeon Matthew A. Hunt, MD, serves as a co-investigator. Hunt also heads up a third multisite study evaluating the use of sodium thiosulfate in preventing low platelet count in adult patients receiving combination chemotherapy for malignant brain tumors. Investigators will count platelets in patients who receive carboplatin, cyclophosphamide, and etoposide phosphate, with or without sodium thiosulfate. Along with the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and the OHSU Knight Cancer Center in Portland, OR, serve as sites for the trial.

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