Thomas Chen, MD, PhD
Dr. Chen's goal is to make USC Neuro-oncology the leader in innovative treatments for brain and spine tumors. As a result, emphasis is placed on translating new findings made in the laboratory to clinical trials. Laboratory efforts are directed toward research on endoplasmic reticulum stress, understanding glioblastoma endothelial cells, and development of novel anti-invasion therapies such as vicrostatin, a unique disintegrin made at USC, and noscopine. Technological advances that may be used in the treatment of brain or spine tumors are being developed, patented, and will soon be highlighted. Novel clinical trials currently available or soon to be available at USC include anti-EGFRviii vaccine therapy, IL-4-pseudomonas exotoxin for convection enhanced delivery, and anti-tenascin brachytherapy. Surgical therapy is based on the newest techniques in microdissection and image guidance using neuronavigational therapy, with a soon to be added intraoperative MRI scanner. Spine oncology is especially unique as Dr. Chen is one of the few fellowship trained spine surgeons focused on spine cancer. Decisions on therapy are made through tumor board via a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to neuro-oncology including neurosurgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuropathology, and neuro-radiology.