The Neuro-oncology program at Washington University is focused on aggressively treating brain tumors, while maintaining an excellent quality of life for our patients.
We are a group of physicians, physician-scientists, nurse practitioners and nurses who, through research studies, offer our patients the latest and most promising treatments. We sit on national guidelines committees and non-profit advisory boards, and present at national and international meetings so that we can share our knowledge to benefit all patients with brain tumors.
Make an Appointment
Referring physicians or patients can call 314-747-1171 to schedule a consultation with one of our Neuro-oncology Program physicians.
Make a gift to Neuro-Oncology Research
Neurologic Cancers and Related Disorders
We treat patients with tumors that originate in the brain or spinal cord. Upon referral from our medical oncology colleagues, we also provide consultations on neurological complications of cancer and its treatment.
Our Treatment Approach
We are strong believers in multi-disciplinary care and the benefits that naturally come from communication across disciplines. We work closely with surgeons, radiation oncologists, neuropathologists, radiologists integrative medicine experts, nutritionists, and social workers to ensure every aspect of a patient is cared for. All of the neuro-oncologists meet each week to review every patient we will be seeing in the following week, and we provide each other with advice and suggestions to optimize each patient’s care. We are core members of the interdisciplinary Brain Tumor Board at Washington University, which meets each week to discuss challenging cases from within our system, or national and international referrals.
Milan G. Chheda, MD
Dr. Chheda is the Director of the Neuro-oncology Program. He is focused on understanding what makes specific tumor cells within a patient’s entire tumor much more resistant to therapy. Identifying these mechanisms will lead to new ways to prevent glioblastomas and other aggressive tumors from returning after treatment. Dr. Chheda serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s national treatment guidelines committee and the scientific advisory board of the American Brain Tumor Association, and has helped lead a number of initiatives within the Society for Neuro-oncology.
Omar H. Butt, MD, PhD
Dr. Butt is interested in understanding the interaction of the blood-brain barrier and novel therapeutics including immune and cellular therapy to enhance the treatment of cancers. This includes clinical trials examining direct manipulation through laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT), semi-direct manipulation though radiotherapy, and indirect through novel systemic therapy for primary brain tumors. Our goal is to use this information to optimize the timing and application of this range of new treatments for brain tumors.
Tanner Johanns, MD, PhD
Dr. Johanns is interested in developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment of brain tumors. His laboratory is focused on using state of the art technologies to understand mechanisms of resistance to current immunotherapies as well as identifying key factors important for successful immune responses. The goal is to use this information to rationally design novel strategies that overcome these barriers of resistance and to translate these novel approaches into early phase clinical trials for patients with brain cancers.
- Julia Seibert, ANP-C
- Julie Schutte FNP-C
- Rebecca Cusanelli, MSN, RN
- Jamie Whaley, RN
- Krystal Prater, RN, BSN
- Erin Fleming, RN, OCN
Research and Clinical Trials
Our clinical trials focus on developing new ways to spur the immune system to attack the tumor, and testing new drugs and technologies, like ultrasound, to kill tumor cells. Our laboratory research focuses on (1) identifying what makes particular patients exceptional responders so we may apply this information to all patients and (2) determining how specific tumor cells outsmart current treatments so we can design new medications to abolish these mechanisms.
Ongoing Clinical Trial Highlights
We are constantly developing and opening new trials to treat patients with brain tumors. A given trial may or may not be open to enroll a patient at the time you are seen.
- A Phase 1 Study of DSP-0390 in Patients With Recurrent High-Grade Glioma.
The strategy in this trial is to selectively attack cholesterol generation in tumor cells to take away their ability to grow and divide.
- Phase I Multi-center Trial Evaluating the Safety and Tolerability of 5-aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA) Combined with CV01 Delivery of Ultrasound for Sonodynamic Therapy in Patients with Recurrent High Grade Glioma.
This unique study uses ultrasound to activate an agent to kill tumor cells.
- Phase II Trial of the Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Nivolumab in Patients With Recurrent Select Rare CNS Cancers.
This trial enables the patient’s own immune system to identify and kill rare tumors.
- A Phase II/III Trial to Evaluate Multiple Regimens in Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM AGILE).
This trial offers patients the opportunity to take a promising regimen to kill glioblastoma cells.