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Brain Matters

Dr Weingart, consulting with patient

A Monthly Podcast Series

Each month Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Jon Weingart comments on news from the field of neurosurgery, discussing new discoveries and research in the context of the larger picture of current practice. Brain Matters is created with an eye toward informing both patients and practitioners in their decision making.

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Podcast 1: Meningiomas

Meningiomas are a common type of brain tumor that may be related to obesity, radiation exposure or other factors.

Program Highlights

0:22 The risk of meningioma
1:23 Biological plausibility
2:25 It’s just not a number that you’re shooting for
3:26 Patient having symptoms needs more rapid evaluation
4:25 Hurdle to proposed intervention
5:25 In general no radiation given
6:25 Three grades of meningioma
7:25 Clear association with radiation
8:25 Multidisciplinary approach valuable
9:35 End

Podcast 2: Brain Tumor Monitoring

New techniques are making it easier to discern the unique genetic "fingerprints" of brain tumors elsewhere in the patient's body.

Program Highlights

0:32 Cell DNA gets shed
1:32 Enrolled over 30 patients
2:31 Tumors near spinal fluid space
3:28 Chordoma detection
4:30 Thank you to our research participants
5:35 Sample taken during surgery
6:35 Needs validation
7:28 Every week we have a question
8:29 Trial where DNA is completely analyzed
9:17 Using a targeted therapy
9:59 End

Podcast 3: Electrical Fields and Brain Tumors

Studies are looking at low intensity electrical fields applied through the scalp to see if they can disrupt cellular division and affect the growth and spread of brain tumors.

Program Highlights

0:25 Low wave frequency field applied to the scalp
1:25 Wear a helmet 18-24 hours per day
2:30 People can socialize while wearing
3:31 Glioblastoma talk about 2-year survival
4:32 Progression free hard to understand
5:33 They’ll start to be additive
6:35 Cells have mechanisms for spontaneous death
7:48 End

Podcast 4: Abnormal MRI? What To Do Next

People diagnosed with an abnormal MRI or a brain tumor understandably have many questions and sense of urgency about getting answers. Johns Hopkins' Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center can help.

Program Highlights

0:12 What to do when you have a brain tumor
1:14 Local physician will refer
2:09 Can upload images to our website
3:14 Always time to get a second opinion
4:15 All the ways to follow up care
5:15 Can come and get an evaluation all at once
6:01 Call physician directly
7:00 End

Podcast 5: Surgery on Advanced Gliomas

Resection of even later stage gliomas can improve survival and quality of life. The challenge for the surgical team is to remove as much of the tumor as possible while safeguarding the brain.

Program Highlights

0:14 Large experience here at Hopkins
1:15 Contrast agents accumulate in certain places
2:15 Difference dramatic
3:05 Astrocytoma is an infiltrative tumor
4:07 Not all grade 3 tumors become grade 4
5:08 Grade 4 can require diffuse therapy
6:05 Don't create a new neurological problem
7:00 End

Podcast 6: Viruses and Immunotherapy for Brain Tumors

Neurosurgeon Michael Lim, M.D. talks about using viruses and other aspects of immunotherapy for brain tumors.

Program Highlights

0:22 Polio virus and brain tumor treatment
1:21 Genetically modify viruses to attack tumors
2:21 Implanted melanoma tumors
3:22 Myeloid cells play an important role
4:23 May not need a neurotropic virus
5:25 Timeline relative to tumor development
6:28 At one point one drug cocktail but a different one at another
7:23 Building on fantastic data from other tumors
8:10 End

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