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Brain Cancer

Brain cancer, though relatively rare, poses scientists with some of the most difficult problems. The brain is not only the control center for all physiological functions, but is also the keeper of all that is truly human—emotions, memory, and personality. It makes cancer treatment, at once, urgent and guarded, as clinicians work to kill the cancer without harming the brain. Led by international experts, the Brain Cancer Program blends together multiple facets of brain tumor research to improve diagnostics and treatment.  With strengths in deciphering the basic biology of brain tumors and in clinical research, investigators are uncovering new therapeutic targets and strategies, identifying and testing new biomarkers to diagnose brain tumors and monitor the effectiveness of therapies, and developing novel brain tumor imaging techniques.

Johns Hopkins experts were the first to identify a class of brain cancers in children called pilomyxoid astrocytoma or PMA.  Kenneth J. Cohen, MD, MBA, director of pediatric neuro-oncology, coordinates the Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (PMA) Registry to gather information to help refine treatments and develop new ones.

Program Leaders are Henry Brem, M.D., Stuart Grossman, M.D., and John Laterra, Ph.D.


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