My research interest is in the development of phase I and II clinical trials utilizing novel therapeutic agents in high-grade gliomas and primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL).
I submitted a letter of intent in response to a mass-solicitation request from Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) for a phase I study of MLN0128 (mTOR1/2 inhibitor) in combination with bevacizumab for solid tumors including glioblastomas, which was accepted among many other competitive proposals submitted to CTEP. I am leading this multicenter phase I trial in collaboration with the early drug development center (EDDC) at DFCI and Ohio State University. This is one of the first few multicenter phase I trials involving both systemic cancers and brain cancer.
I have special interest in PCNSL and have helped to establish a referral base at DFCI for patients with this rare cancer. Over my last 4 years at DFCI, the volume of patients with PCNSL and secondary CNSL seen in the center for neuro-oncology clinic and admitted to the in-patient service for chemotherapy has increased. I am the site PI for a multicenter randomized trial for treatment of newly diagnosed PCNSL.
I am on a national panel of the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) which has recently drafted guidelines for management of progressive glioblastoma, as well as on the Neuro-Oncology Guidelines Committee for the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).
I am co-leading an international effort in collaboration with key leaders in neuro-oncology as a part of the Neurologic Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (NANO) working group to develop the NANO scale as an objective and quantifiable measure of neurologic function to facilitate comparison across clinical trials and therapeutic interventions. I led an international, multi-institutional study to assess the reliability and the inter-observer variability of the scale which was recently completed and demonstrated a high agreement rate between observers. I am currently working on further development of this tool as a ClinRO (clinician-reported outcome) measure for outcome assessment in brain tumor trials.