Lenox Hill Hospital Treats Long Island Man’s Inoperable Brain Tumor on Clinical Trial

            NEW YORK, NY –A mechanical engineer from Long Island, NY, hopes an experimental drug treatment to treat an inoperable glioblastoma brain tumor will prevent it from growing any further and allow him to maintain a good quality of life. 

            John A. Boockvar, MD, director of Lenox Hill Hospital’s Brain Tumor Center, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is spearheading the study on using intra-arterial drug delivery to treat the tumor.

            The recent procedure on Chris Amundsen, 37, was performed Friday as part of a Phase I clinical trial entitled, Super-Selective Intra-arterial Cerebral Infusion of Temozolomide (Temodar) for Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme and Anaplastic Astrocytoma.”

            Several months ago, Mr. Amundsen started to notice slight vision loss in one eye and neck pain, but otherwise felt fine.  However, this past April, life took a sudden turn when he unexpectedly had a seizure.  He was put on anti-seizure medication and then a month later, he suffered a brain hemorrhage. Further magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans revealed a brain tumor.   He required emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and partially resect the tumor, which was found to be malignant.

            Despite this diagnosis, Mr. Amundsen and his girlfriend, Laura, did not want to waste any further time and decided to get married at a hospital chapel on Long Island.  That same evening, Mrs. Amundsen’s uncle recommended they get in touch with Dr. Boockvar. After contacting his office, arrangements were made for her husband to be transferred to Lenox Hill Hospital on the evening of their wedding ceremony.

            Upon reviewing and discussing Mr. Amundsen’s case at the hospital’s Brain Tumor Board meeting, Dr. Boockvar and his colleagues determined that it was not a good option to surgically completely remove the tumor due to its location, which would result in speech loss.  It was recommended that Mr. Amundsen undergo six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy to manage the tumor. 

            In addition, Dr. Boockvar confirmed that Mr. Amundsen would be a good candidate to be enrolled in a Phase I clinical trial to receive an experimental treatment using intra-arterial drug delivery.

            Rafael A. Ortiz, MD, the hospital’s director of neuro-endovascular surgery and interventional neuroradiology, and David J. Langer, MD, Lenox Hill’s chief of neurosurgery, performed Mr. Amundsen’s procedure this past Friday.

            Drs. Ortiz and Langer performed the intra-arterial Xper-computed tomography angiogram (CTA), cerebral angiogram and intra-arterial infusion of the drug Temozolomide. A catheter was navigated from the femoral artery (artery that takes blood to the leg) to the arteries supplying blood to the tumor.  Contrast dye was injected though the catheter while performing a rotational 3-D Xper CT to accurately map the arteries supplying the tumor.  Temozolomide was delivered directly to the tumor instead of systemic therapy (intravenously), which the investigators believe will result in better drug penetration with fewer side effects.

            “The purpose of the study is to learn whether Temozolomide, at a dose of 250mg/m2, given through the arteries instead of the veins, is safe when combined with chemoradiation in newly diagnosed patients with glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma,” said Dr. Boockvar, principal investigator. “Additionally, one of the goals of the clinical trial is to determine if this treatment will help improve quality of life and extend survival.”

            Mr. Amundsen was the last of 23 patients on this Phase 1 clinical trial. Dr. Boockvar and his team will now be embarking on a larger-scale, Phase 2 trial, to evaluate how effective this treatment is.

            For more information about this clinical trial, please call Tamika Wong, clinical trials manager at Lenox Hill Hospital Neurosurgery at 212-434-3900, option 3, or [email protected], or click here.


About Lenox Hill Hospital:

Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is a 652-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. US News & World Report has ranked the hospital among the nation’s top 50 in Cardiology and Heart Surgery and among the top 10 hospitals in the state of New York with a total of 11 “high performing” designations for its clinical performance in Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology.For more information, go to www.lenoxhillhospital.org.


About the North Shore-LIJ Health System

One of the nation's largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 19 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,400 beds, employ nearly 11,000 nurses and have affiliations with about 10,000 physicians. With a workforce of about 54,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State.  For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com.

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