Highlights and Remembrances From the Section on Tumors

Frederick G. Barker II, MD

The last six months have been eventful ones for the Tumor Section. Among the highlights was a successful 11th biennial Satellite Symposium, coordinated by Orin Bloch, Gavin Dunn, Jonas Sheehan, and Jon Sherman. Along with numerous invited and submitted oral presentations, Dr. Michael Taylor (University of Toronto) presented the keynote lecture on “Things We Thought We Knew About Medulloblastoma and Ependymoma (That Turned out to Be Wrong).” Other program highlights included sessions for residents and fellows on getting involved in clinical trials, starting a lab, and choosing whether to do a fellowship, given by Drs. Michael Vogelbaum, Ennio Chiocca, and Ed Laws respectively. At the Satellite Banquet, held at the Newseum, two special awards were presented: the Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Raymond Sawaya, and the Charles B. Wilson Award to Dr. Ed Oldfield. Finally, Dr. Mark Rosenblum presented the recently rediscovered founding documents of the section to be preserved in the Tumor Section archive. At the main meeting, the section’s Young Neurosurgeons reception included a panel discussion with Drs. Christopher Farrell, Isabelle Germano, John Golfinos, and Jennifer Moliterno Gunel on “Whether to Do a Fellowship.”

In other section news, a new award has been instituted for spine tumor research. Generously funded by the Silber Family Foundation, the Brian D. Silber Award will recognize the best abstract on spine tumor research each year at the AANS meeting. At the 2015 meeting, the first Silber Award recognized an abstract by Dr. Claudio Tatsui on “Laser interstitial thermotherapy as an alternative to separation surgery in the management of spinal metastases.” Thanks to Will Curry (Development) and Manish Aghi (Awards) for making this award possible.

Section bylaws were revised by Jason Heth (Bylaws) to include gender-neutral language and update the committee structure of the Executive Committee. Dr. Jeff Olson has taken over as head of the Guidelines subcommittee. In process are guidelines for pituitary tumors and acoustic neuromas; a metastatic brain tumor guideline update is also planned.

Finally, the Tumor Section joins all of organized neurosurgery in mourning the unexpected passing of Dr. Andy Parsa on April 13, 2015. Dr. Parsa was the chair of neurosurgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, a SPORE-funded immunotherapy researcher, head of a multicenter randomized trial of heat shock vaccine treatment for glioblastoma, and an active clinical tumor surgeon. In addition he would have taken over as chair of the Tumor Section to serve a two-year term beginning in May. The section plans to honor his memory in several ways: through memorial publications, through a joint session at SNO 2015 named in his honor, and through a contribution to a memorial fund set up by Dr. Parsa’s family to fund the education of his three young children. In addition, we will work toward funding a research fellowship for young neurosurgeons, which was Dr. Parsa’s own personal goal during his term as leader of the section. Toward that end, an Honor Your Mentor fund has been established and initially funded through the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation. For information on contributing, please consult www.nref.org.