From the Winter 2017 issue of AtlanticView:
Advancement in the treatment of brain tumors offers hope to the nearly 700,000 people in the United States living with a brain tumor. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, there will be more than 78,000 new cases of brain tumor diagnoses this year. The program at Atlantic Health System's Brain Tumor Center of New Jersey provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment to those living in the New Jersey region.
According to Kurt Jaeckle, MD, medical director and neuro-oncologist for the Brain Tumor Center of New Jersey, new treatments include drugs that target the genetic signatures of tumors as well as treatments that activate the immune system to target tumors. He says there are two general types of brain tumors: those that start in the brain (primary), and those that begin in another part of the body and spread to the brain (metastatic). The most common tumors that move from the body to the brain are found in the breast and the lung. Malignant, or cancerous, tumors are often treated with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
“In the last four years, molecular profiling has been used to tell us more about tumors,” says Dr. Jaeckle. “We are starting to unravel the genes that are important in determining prognosis. This is an advance over the older classification system, which previously graded tumors based on the physical appearance of the tumor slices as viewed under a microscope.”
Driven by Research
Dr. Jaeckle, who most recently joined the center from Mayo Clinic, plans to expand the program by adding a portfolio of cutting-edge clinical trials. In addition to research, Dr. Jaeckle would like to broaden the clinical program based on the needs of the region. “You don’t have just one doctor involved, but you have a team of people offering a multidisciplinary focused effort to provide expertise and good care to the people of New Jersey. This allows them to receive treatments here, rather than having to travel long distances.”