Clinical Research

Convenient Access to Promising Clinical Trials

In addition to providing extraordinary patient care, the Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals Neurological Institute is committed to developing the next generation of medical and surgical innovations.

With Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, our clinical research involves experienced scientists, neuroscientists, pathologists, physicists and engineers. All share a strong bench-to-bedside mission to ensure that research results enhance patient care.

As a result, our patients have access to the most current clinical trials, treatments and procedures that may be unavailable at other facilities. Patients may be eligible to enroll in the newest experimental therapeutic trials involving stem cells, perfusion therapy and small molecule therapies.

Many of these clinical trials are offered in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute-funded Adult Brain Tumor Consortium, a group of 14 elite Brain Tumor centers of excellence. They work together to investigate the most innovative treatments for patients with brain tumors.

While clinical trials change frequently, a few areas we are focused on include:

  • Tumor vaccines (immunotherapy) to teach the patient’s own immune system to fight the brain tumor
  • New drugs that specifically target brain stem tumor cells that are resistant to existing therapies
  • Gene therapy for brain tumors
  • New agents that starve the tumor by cutting off its blood supply
  • Convection-enhanced delivery, which enables targeted delivery of drugs and immunotoxins to the tumor while avoiding toxicity to healthy brain tissue
  • Innovative combinations of chemotherapeutic agents, which are more powerful together than apart
  • Using real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for recurrent glioblastoma
  • New protocols for Gamma Knife surgery, chemotherapy and image guidance
  • Developing artificial intelligence software for robotic surgery
  • Photo dynamic therapy to both diagnose and treat tumors

Current Clinical Trials

Experimental Drug Helps Surgeons Remove Brain Tumors By Making Cancer Cells Glow Pink

Illuminating Brain Tumors

Play this video to hear Dr. Andrew Sloan discuss a new drug that is helping surgeons locate and remove dangerous brain tumors.

Surgeons at University Hospitals Neurological Institute’s Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center are studying an experimental drug that can help surgeons locate and remove brain tumors more effectively. The drug, 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA), is given to patients before surgery and it works by making the cancerous cells glow hot pink. Surgeons then employ a blue light to help them visualize the tumor more clearly, allowing them to remove the tumor from the brain. Center Director Andrew Sloan, MD said if surgeons can remove 95 to 99 percent of the tumor, it can nearly double a patient’s survival. University Hospitals is one of just a few hospitals in the country that is studying the use of 5-ALA for brain tumor surgery.

Other trials include:

  • 06-benzylguanine (BG) and Temozolomide (TMZ) Therapy of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) in Patients with MGMT Positive Tumors with Infusion of Autologous P140KMGMT+ Hematopoietic Progenitors to Protect Hematopoiesis
  • Fluorescence-Guided Detection of Malignant Gliomas: A Dose Ranging Study Using 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) Induced Protoporphyrin (PpIX) in a Multicenter Phase II Clinical Trial
  • A Phase II Clinical Trial Evaluating DCVax-Brain, Autologous Dendritic Cells Pulsed with Tumor Lysate Antigen for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme
  • A Phase I Study of Methoxyamine and Temozolomide in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors
  • Phase II Study of Radiation Therapy with or without Temozolomide for Symptomatic or Progressive Low-Grade Gliomas
  • Phase II Trial of Observation for Low-Risk Meningiomas and of Radiotherapy for Intermediate and High-Risk Meningiomas

Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project Grant

Our research affiliate Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been named one of nine institutions nationwide to receive funding under the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project grant. The long-term goal of this project is to use genetic information to predict and plan the most effective brain tumor treatment option, which is custom-designed for each patient. Clinical research under the grant is being conducted at UH Neurological Institute.

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