Targeted Treatment for Patients With Inoperable Brain Tumors
by Amelia Garrison
The Brain Tumor Center’s neuro-oncology team at Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) recently published a paper identifying the success of customized treatment plans for patients with inoperable tumors, many of whom have limited treatment options.
The paper, co-authored by PNI’s expert research team of Dr. Jose Carrillo, Dr. Naveed Wagle, Dr. Akanksha Sharma, Dr. Santosh Kesari, and Mini Gill, presents the outcome of a young woman with an aggressive brain stem tumor. After being told that the tumor was inoperable at another institution, she was referred to the PNI’s Brain Tumor Center.
Akansha Sharma, MD, a neuro-oncologist and palliative medicine specialist said, “We looked at her genetic markers and did some advanced blood testing to identify mutations that her specific tumor harbored. We then developed a customized treatment plan that targeted the mutations we found, and the tumor began to respond.”
For this patient, using a highly individualized, precision medicine approach has been literally lifesaving. “5 years later, the tumor continues to be well controlled and is not causing further disability or harm to the patient. This is a case that demonstrates how we can use a personalized approach in some cases to find additional treatments, especially in situations where there are limited options. This is a routine approach we use in our brain tumor center,” Dr. Sharma added.
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About Dr. Akanksha Sharma
Akanksha Sharma, MD, is board-certified in neurology, neuro-oncology, and palliative medicine. She is experienced in the treatment of primary/metastatic brain tumors, neurological complications of cancer, and disease-related burden and symptoms. Her clinical and research interests lie in helping patients maximize their time and quality of life. She aims to align treatment with patient goals and to provide holistic care that includes careful symptom assessment and management, as well as support for the patient’s loved ones.
About the Author
Amelia is the Coordinator of Marketing & Communications at Pacific Neuroscience Insitute (PNI). She leads the PNI blog, newsletter, and digital communications.
Last updated: September 7th, 2021