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Lenox Hill first to study using tissue autograft for GBM tumors in humans


Physicians from the department of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital are participating in a first in-human clinical research study to demonstrate the safety of an investigational surgical technique for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer.

The study entitled, "Tissue Autograft to Bypass the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) in Human Glioblastoma Multiforme," is being led by John Boockvar, MD, the hospital's vice chair, neurosurgery and director of Lenox Hill's Brain Tumor Center. To be eligible for the study, participants must be 18 years of age or older and plan to undergo resection of known or suspected GBM.

"We are continuously looking for new and more effective treatments for GBM," Dr. Boockvar said. "One of the challenges of treating this very aggressive brain tumor is being able to deliver high doses of chemotherapy directly to the tumor site, bypassing the blood brain barrier (BBB) – which is a wall that separates the blood from the brain tissue. It is the BBB that makes it harder for medication to enter into the brain."

In this study, the surgical technique combines a standard tumor resection with the placement of a rotated piece of the patient's scalp tissue into the resected tumor cavity. After tumor resection, the patient's tissue flap with be harvested, rotated and engrafted and will be used to line the tumor cavity.

"We hope that by using the patient's own scalp tissue, which lacks an intact blood brain barrier, we will be able to deliver chemotherapeutics and immune cells into the tumor microenvironment, hopefully improving the treatment for GBM," Dr. Boockvar added.

After a study participant undergoes the tumor resection and tissue flap procedure, the patient will receive the standard cancer care treatment that involves a daily oral dose of temozolomide for 42 days with radiation to the tumor. The Institutional Review Board has opened the trial for 10 patients.

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About Lenox Hill Hospital

Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of Northwell Health, 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

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