Neurosurgical involvement in clinical trials for CNS tumors

Michael A. Vogelbaum, Ian F. Parney, J. Bradley Elder, Daniel Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Most clinical trials in neurooncology are led by investigators primarily trained in neurology or medical oncology. While neurosurgeons are trained to be problem-solvers and innovators, research training has historically been focused on laboratory-based discovery approaches and formalized training in prospective clinical trials research is not part of routine graduate training. Methods: We reviewed literature that demonstrates that innovation and problem-solving are integral to the practice of neurosurgery cite multiple examples of advances in technique and technology that may have had an empirical origin but that led to prospective clinical trials resulting in change in practice. Results: Neurosurgeons have developed and led both traditional (clinical outcome-oriented) and translational prospective clinical trials that have evaluated the best use of currently available therapeutics or tested the ability of novel therapeutics to alter the biology and/or course of disease. Conclusions: In this review, we focus on a number of the recently developed technologies and therapeutics that were evaluated in clinical trials led or co-led by neurosurgeons. We also highlight some of the barriers that need to be addressed in order to foster neurosurgical participation and leadership in the prospective development of novel therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Brain metastases
  • Clinical trials
  • Gliomas
  • Neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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