SUMMIT, NJ - The Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center at Overlook Medical Center has opened. The Center, now located in a new, larger space on the main floor of Overlook Medical Center, can accommodate the more than one thousand patients who annually access the Center’s services.
The new location also further enhances the Center’s patient-centered approach to treatment and care, as well as the staff’s ability to support patients and their families while they receive treatment.
Specialists at the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center treat a variety of brain tumors and related conditions, including acoustic neuromas and schwannomas; anaplastic astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and low-grade gliomas; brain, epidural and leptomeningeal metastases; ependymomas; glioblastomas; low-grade astrocytomas; lymphomas; meningiomas; medulloblastomas; peripheral nerve, pineal and pituitary tumors; rare glial and neuronal tumors; sarcomas; and spinal cord tumors. The center features a multidisciplinary panel of experts who specialize in neurosurgery, skull base surgery, neuroradiology, radiation oncology, neuro-oncology, medical oncology, neurology, neuropathology and social work. Overlook Medical Center also has the largest CyberKnife program in the tri-state area for the treatment of brain tumors.
Gerald J. Glasser served on the Overlook Foundation Board of Trustees and was its president from 2008-10. He was also the president of his family charity, the Thomas Glasser Foundation, and co-founded Imagine, a center that provides free grief support for those dealing with a loss. Its creation stemmed from his personal interest in grief support after the death of his son Tom on 9/11. The Thomas Glasser Foundation has provided critical funding for two significant programs at Overlook Medical Center in conjunction with the Overlook Foundation: the Thomas Glasser Caregivers Center and now the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center.
Under the direction of Kurt Jaeckle, MD, co-director of he Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center at Overlook Medical Center, and director of research for Atlantic Health System, patients have the best access to groundbreaking medical trials and treatments. As a member of the National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group System and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, the Center is able to offer the latest treatments and most novel therapies available, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. The Center’s comprehensive services include neuro-oncology, surgery, radiation oncology, research and nursing.
“The opening of the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center ensures patients will be surrounded by caring experts in an environment dedicated only to treating brain tumors and offers patients and their families a support system during a difficult time,” said Jaeckle. “Furthermore, the new Center will allow for advances in research and clinical trials that will contribute to our goal of providing the best care possible to our patients.”
Dr. Jaeckle recently opened a Phase III clinical trial of the first-in-class drug VAL-083 for patients whose glioblastoma multiforme or gliosarcoma has progressed during or after treatment with the standard of care chemo-radiation therapy. This study is offered at only four centers in the country, and Dr. Jaeckle is leading the local arm of this study at Overlook Medical Center. Other study locations are: Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center; University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and Dent Neurosciences Research Center, Amherst, NY.
Neurosurgeon Yaron Moshel, MD, PhD, whose expertise is in awake brain surgery, functional brain mapping and endoscopic transnasal skull-base surgery, is co-director of the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center and oversees its surgical program. Neurosurgeons at Overlook Medical Center perform more brain tumor surgeries than at any other hospital in New Jersey.
Dr. Moshel is overseeing the local arm of a promising study using Toca 511, an investigational retroviral replicating vector (RRV), and Toca FC. Essentially, Toca 511 is a live virus that has been designed and built to selectively carry a gene into cancer cells rendering them susceptible to the drug Toca FC. The Toca 511 virus is injected into the brain after a patient has surgery to remove a recurrent tumor. The virus is injected directly into the brain area from which the tumor was removed (the tumor cavity wall) and the Toca FC is administered in the ensuing weeks after surgery.
“It’s a unique study in that we’re actually injecting a true, living virus into a patient,” explains Dr. Moshel. “The idea is that the virus will infect the tumor cells. Once it gets into the tumor cells, it will copy a gene into the cells, rendering them susceptible to a drug that otherwise would not have been effective.”
To learn more about Dr. Moshel and Toca 511, visit atlantichealth.org.
For more information about the medical team, clinical trials, and treatment options, and to learn about patient stories, visit http://atlantichealth.org/braintumor. To reach a staff member or make an appointment, call 908-522-5914. For more information on these clinical trials or other studies, please call the Atlantic Center for Research at 973-971-5235.