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Research Studies

Advancing Treatment for Pediatric Craniopharyngioma: A Prospective Pilot Study Identifying Clinically Relevant Biological Targets for Medical Therapy

This 36-month, multicenter pilot study headed by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (UCAMC) includes member institutions of the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators' Consortium (POETIC) as well as selected additional sites. Samples of snap-frozen pediatric adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma are sent to the UCAMC to be analyzed using advanced biological techniques, while Weill Cornell Medicine researchers concomitantly collect clinical data to correlate with the biological characteristics of each subject's tumor tissue. Due to the unique quality-of-life burden that adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma imposes, the UCAMC pilots an electronic method for the assessment of short-term academic and behavioral outcomes of these patients.

This project will inform the design of a subsequent clinical trial of a medical antitumor therapy as well as establish a multicenter working group for the ongoing study of children with adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma.

Contact

Mark Souweidane: (212) 746-2363

Cognitive and Sensorimotor Event-Related Potentials Recorded With Subdural and Depth Electrodes

This study involves examination of the neural mechanisms involved in basic perceptual and cognitive processes of visual, auditory and somatosensory domains. Electrophysiological intracranial recordings are taken from patients undergoing subdural grid studies prior to surgical treatment for medically refractory partial epilepsy, with suitable patients chosen based on the position of grid and strip electrodes. The enhancement of the spatiotemporal resolution afforded by intracranial epilepsy patient recordings enables us to evaluate the time-course and neural structures involved in investigated perceptual and cognitive processes with great precision. Visual stimuli used in the study consists of pictures of objects, virtual reality mazes and bar and grating patterns, auditory stimuli consists of phonemes, words, tones and ticks and somatosensory stimuli consists of nerve stimulation, vibratory stimuli or puffs of air. Cognitive tasks include naming objects, identifying differences between stimuli and planning motor sequences.

Contact

Theodore Schwartz: (212) 746-5620

Computerized Tomography (CT) Angiography of the Enucleated Eye in Children With Bilateral Retinoblastoma

Patients with retinoblastoma are currently treated by injecting a small amount of chemotherapeutic fluid directly into the ophthalmic artery (a process referred to as Ophthalmic Artery Chemosurgery [OAC]). In some patients with bilateral disease, despite conventional therapy, one eye has previously been enucleated due to uncontrolled disease. In patients currently undergoing OAC for treatment purposes, we plan to use CT angiography in the contralateral ophthalmic artery (in the previously enucleated orbit) to describe changes in orbital vasculature following enucleation.

Contact

Pierre Gobin: (212) 746-4998

Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery

This study involves a retrospective chart review and outpatient survey of patients who have already undergone endoscopic skull base surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. Endoscopic skull base surgery using intrathecal fluorescein is a surgical approach for a variety of anterior skull base lesions. Indicated pathologies include pituitary adenomas, meningoencephaloceles, meningiomas and others.

Contact

Theodore Schwartz: (212) 746-5620

Harvesting of Excess Bone Marrow for the Collection of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

This study enables researchers to use excess bone marrow taken during spinal fusion surgeries to isolate human mesenchymal stem cells for use in tissue-engineered constructs.

Contact

(212) 746-2152

Endoscopic Resection of Skull Base Tumors

This retrospective observational study examines outcomes and complications of endoscopic skull base approaches to tumors such as pituitary adenomas, craniopharyngiomas, chordomas and CSF leaks 

Contact

Theodore Schwartz: (212) 746-5620

Molecular Genetics of Gliomatosis Cerebri

This study enables researchers to collect previously obtained brain cancer tissue samples to perform molecular characterization.

Contact

Jeffrey Greenfield: (212) 746-2363

Neurological Surgery Patient Registry

This registry tracks the quality of surgical care for the most common neurosurgical procedures and provides an immediate infrastructure for analyzing and reporting the quality of neurosurgical care, including risk-adjusted benchmarks (i.e., quality assessment and improvement).

Contact

Philip Stieg: (212) 746-4684

Nonoperative Management of Suspected Eosinophilic Granuloma (EG) of the Skull

This study enables evaluation of the outcomes of children with probable isolated calvarial EG managed with an initial protocol of only observation.

Contact

Mark Souweidane: (212) 746-2363

Registry of Retinoblastoma Patients Receiving Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy

This study tracks the use of intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma (a cancer of the eye in young children). Drs. Pierre Gobin, director of interventional radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine, and David Abramson, chief of ophthalmic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, pioneered this intra-arterial chemotherapy technique in 2006 as an alternative to enucleation (removal of the eye) in cases of advanced cancers. The procedure has now been performed more than 750 times to treat more than 220 eyes (each eye receives multiple treatments). Intra-arterial chemotherapy saves approximately 80 percent of eyes in children who are referred immediately with no prior treatment, and 50 percent of eyes in children who have undergone failed prior treatments at other institutions. 

For this registry, the effect of each intra-arterial chemotherapy procedure is judged at an eye examination performed after four weeks. This examination is repeated if appropriate, for an average of 3.4 sessions.

Contact

Pierre Gobin: (212) 746-4998

Research for Precision Medicine in Pediatric Oncology

Our researchers sequence advanced and metastatic tumor data in order to support the pediatric oncology community with precision medicine findings. The underlying scientific focus of this study is the genetic makeup of pediatric tumors and how this relates to prognosis, treatment and outcome.

Contact

Jeffrey Greenfield: (212) 746-2363

Role of Bone Marrow-Derived Endothelial Cells in Low-Grade Brain Tumors

An extensive amount of malignant glioblastoma studies have been conducted to discover potential treatment options but few researchers address the behavior of low-grade gliomas before they progress to high-grade malignant tumors. This study is conducted to determine the factors mediating the angiogenic progression of low-grade brain tumors.

Contact

Jeffrey Greenfield: (212) 746-2363

Using Genomic Analysis to Guide Individualized Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)

Weill Cornell Medicine researchers use genomic sequencing data to guide personalized treatment options for GBM patients. The identification of tumor cell changes over the course of this study will guide our doctors who decide what treatments are best for a patient’s specific type of tumor.

Contact

Mark Souweidane: (212) 746-2363

Intraoperative Visualization of Fluorescein-Stained Intracranial Lesions

This study involves the use of fluorescein sodium dye to help our surgeons visualize brain lesions in the operating room during surgery. Fluorescein sodium has been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the treatment of ocular diseases and tumors.

Contact

Theodore Schwartz: (212) 746-5620

Neurological Surgery 525 E. 68th St., Starr 651, Box 99 New York, NY 10065