Lenox Hill Surgeon Provides Lifesaving Treatment to Brain Cancer Patient

Lenox Hill Surgeon Provides Lifesaving Treatment to Brain Cancer Patient

After receiving a poor diagnosis following brain cancer surgery, a busy executive finds new hope in an innovative treatment offered at Lenox Hill Hospital.

A Virginia-based executive is enjoying life tumor-free following innovative treatment provided as part of a clinical trial led by Dr. John Boockvar, Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Lenox Hill Hospital

Early in 2014, Rob Henderson began to experience unexplained weakness on his left side. With his busy work schedule, he assumed it had to be related to stress or fatigue and didn’t think too much about it until he was on vacation with his family later that year in the Florida Keys. While preparing to go SCUBA diving, the dive master saws signs of Rob’s left-side weakness and asked if he had previously suffered a stroke. Meanwhile, Rob’s family was also noticing subtle yet concerning changes in his behavior, including forgetfulness.

Within days of returning home from vacation, Rob became disoriented in a parking lot after a business meeting. He couldn’t find his car and called his wife Mary Ann for help.

“This was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” says Mary Ann. “I thought he had suffered a stroke, so we took Rob to the emergency room.”

Rob underwent a CAT scan, and a brain tumor was discovered. He was taken by ambulance to a Fairfax, Virginia, hospital to remove the tumor, and the next day, Rob and his wife were given the diagnosis — a stage 4 right frontal glioblastoma.

“When you hear a diagnosis of glioblastoma, it is devastating,” explains Rob. “The doctor basically told me there was no hope. Yet, I didn’t accept what he was saying and wanted to find out if there were any treatment options. My wife and I immediately started the process of researching hospitals and treatments. In our search, we were referred to Dr. Boockvar from a friend who was familiar with one of his clinical trials for treating glioblastoma tumors.”

Dr. Boockvar is a world expert on blood-brain barrier disruption to improve the delivery of therapeutics to the human brain. He is the principal investigator of several innovative clinical trials using blood-brain barrier disruption to deliver high dose chemotherapy for patients, such as Rob with malignant brain tumors. Rob had an initial meeting with Dr. Boockvar and was given the opportunity to participate in the trial. Following radiation, Rob received a cerebral infusion of temozolomide (Temodar®) into the tumor cavity to shrink its size.

The treatment was successful, and Rob was given a clean bill of health. He now continues to follow up with Dr. Boockvar every two months by undergoing MRIs to monitor for any changes.

“I am incredibly happy to say that I am one year tumor-free,” says Rob. “While I still have some fatigue and left-side weakness, I am back on top of my game working, playing tennis and chasing chickens! I came out a lot better than most. Dr. Boockvar and his team have given me life, something others said I wouldn’t have.” 

Mary Ann adds, “How can I thank someone for giving me more time with the person I love? You will never be in better hands than those of Dr. Boockvar.”

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