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From a family practitioner to the most sophisticated neurologists, JFK Medical Center's staff includes some of the most highly respected physicians in the northeast. For a referral to a JFK physician, click here.

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Congratulations to JFK Family Medicine Center: Center for Pregnancy for being selected as a 2015 Community Leader of Distinction!

Our Team

Our physicians are experts in diseases and disorders of the nervous system, pioneering advancements in brain, spine, neck and peripheral nerve care. Our internationally recognized multidisciplinary team of specialists is assembled from around the country — a distinctive strength that enables the Brain Tumor Center to determine effective strategies to detect, diagnose and treat tumors.

See below for a listing of our staff.
(More bios coming soon.)

Joseph C. Landolfi, DO
Stephen M. Bloomfield, MD
Thomas C. Steineke, MD, PhD
Steven D. Zarny MD
Patricia Anthony, RN
Asif Bashir, MD
Alex Ewing, MD
Jasdeep S. Hundal, Psy.D., ABPP-Cn



Clinical Trials

Developing the Future of Medicine

At JFK Medical Center, the following clinical trials have IRB approval for enrollment. JFK Medical Center is an Affiliate of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. As an Affiliate, access to other clinical trials is available.

Tocagen
511-13-01
A Phase I Ascending Dose Trial of the Safety and Tolerability of Toca 511, a Retroviral Replicating Vector, Administered Intravenously Prior to, and Intracranially  at the time of, Subsequent Resection for Recurrent High Grade Glioma and Followed by Treatment with Toca FC, Extended-Release 5FC

This is an open label study, ascending-dose trial of the safety and tolerability of increasing doses of Toca 511 administered intravenously to subjects with recurrent or progressive High Grade Glioma undergoing planned tumor resection. A portion of the total dose of Toca 511 is administered as a bolus injection approximately 11 days prior to resection. The remainder dose is administered intracranially. Approximately 6 weeks after surgery, the subjects will take oral 5-FC provided by the study.     

Tocagen
511-15-01
A Phase 2/3 Randomized Open Label Study of Toca 511, a Retroviral Replicating Vector, Combined wit Toca FC versus Standard of Care in Subjects Undergoing Planned Resection for Recurrent Glioblastoma or Anaplastic Astrocytoma

In this study, the Investigator has the choice of either single agent chemotherapy (lomustine or temozolomide) or bevacizumab administered to subjects undergoing resection for first or second recurrence of glioblastoma or astrocytoma. Subjects will be randomized at the time of surgery in a 1:1 ratio. Crossover to the experimental arm is not allowed.
    
Tocagen
511-09-01
A Continuation Protocol for Patients Previously Enrolled in a Study of Toca 511

Subjects who participated in the primary study are offered the opportunity to continue in the investigational study. They have the option to continue with full or partial monitoring and also have the option to continue the investigational drug 5-FC or take no drug. This is the subject’s choice. If the subject has tumor recurrence or progression, repeat intracranial injection of Toca 511 followed by Toca FC may be offered.

ICT-121

Immunological targeting of CD-133 in recurrent glioblastoma: A multi-center Phase I translational and clinical study of an autologous CD-133 DC vaccine

Subjects who have first recurrence of glioblastoma and have undergone resection can participate if they are HLA A2+. The treatment consists of an autologous vaccine (made from each individual’s blood) once a week for 4 weeks, then once every 2 months.

ICT-107-301
A Phase III Randomized Double Blind, Controlled Study of ICT-107 with Maintenance Temozolomide (TMZ) in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Following Resection and Concomitant TMZ Chemoradiotherapy

Subjects must be HLA-A2 positive. There is a 1:1 randomization. There are 2 arms in this study. Arm 1 subjects will receive ICT-107 in combination with standard of care TMZ. Arm 2 subjects will receive standard of care TMZ with a blinded control consisting of autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Celldex
110-05
Expanded Access (Compassionate Use) Treatment Protocol Rindopepimut (CDX110-05) for Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent GBM

Subject will be tested for a positive EGFRvIII. Plan is 2 priming doses and then monthly vaccine with GM-CSF. For recurrence, vaccine can be given with standard of care chemo. Each subject must be individually approved by the medical monitor of the study.

 



    
If you have any questions regarding any of the clinical trials, please call: Linda Thomas, RN (732) 321-7000, ext. 61689 or cell (732) 343-0111.

Progress Continues with Advanced Research

The New Jersey Neuroscience Institute conducts research into the normal development and function of the nervous system, pathologies that disturb its function, and methods by which we may better diagnose, treat and prevent neurological disorders in the future. At our newly constructed research laboratories, innovative approaches in research of tumors of the central nervous system are emerging.

Great strides in translational research in neuro-oncology are leading the way at the NJNI laboratories, particularly in osmotic blood-brain barrier disruption— experimental treatment that uses different drugs to open blood vessels in the hopes of delivering more chemotherapeutic drugs across the blood-brain barrier and directly to the brain tumor. Additionally, new concepts are being tested and progress is being made in pain research and management of neuropathic pain, a significant complication in patients with tumors of the central nervous system. Current research is rapidly expanding our understanding of the pain syndromes with important implications for treatment in the future. Research studies are also being done to evaluate the genetic changes of brain and spinal tumors as well as the body’s autonomic responses to the tumor and its treatment.

Living Beyond the Diagnosis: Follow-Up & Supportive Care

At the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute, we remain dedicated to our patients and their families long after diagnosis, calling upon multiple medical specialties to ensure the most comprehensive follow-up treatment program. As with any cancer, a patient’s prognosis and long-term survival can vary greatly from individual to individual. Prompt and routine medical attention, aggressive therapy and other support services are often critical for the best prognosis.   

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is an important part of the follow-up care the NJNI Brain Tumor Center provides to patients with brain and spinal cord tumors. Our expert team of physical, occupational and speech therapists at the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute (JRI) work closely with the multidisciplinary team to decrease the burden of disease on patients and their families. The goals of rehabilitation depend on the patients’ needs and how the tumor and corresponding treatments affect daily activities. The interdisciplinary team makes every effort to help patients return to their normal activities as soon as possible. JRI’s rehabilitation team aims to improve patients’ function and enhance their quality of life.

Supportive services

When facing a crisis, there is often a need to connect with someone in the same situation. Patients, survivors and their families can find help through the Central New Jersey and Monmouth County Brain Tumor Support Group and the Benign Brain Tumor Support Group. Within the safety of these support groups, patients, survivors and their loved ones can share their fears, concerns and positive coping skills as well as gain emotional and spiritual support during turbulent times when their lives are touched by a brain tumor.

Led by nurses who specialize in neurology and neurosurgery as well as social workers, the support groups also offer a range of resources, educational support services and periodic lectures to help survivors, families and friends better understand the complex emotional and social issues following treatment.  

Hospice and Palliative Care Services

The NJNI Brain Tumor Center is committed to profoundly enhancing quality of life for patients and their families who are experiencing life-threatening illnesses. Haven Hospice is an integral part of the neuro-oncology program at the NJNI and among the most comprehensive hospice programs in New Jersey. It provides services to patients in the comfort of their own home, Mary Ann Hale Inpatient Pavilion and long-term care settings. The interdisciplinary hospice team is comprised of physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, counselors, volunteers and clergy who manage patients’ physical and spiritual pain, and offers instruction, guidance, and support to family members, significant others, and caregivers. In most states, Medicare, private health insurance and Medicaid cover hospice care for patients who meet certain criteria.

Innovative Treatment for the Best in Patient Outcomes

Quality of life is an important consideration in JFK’s treatment approach. Brain and spinal cord tumors are extremely diverse both biologically and in response to treatment. The specific treatment plan recommended is dictated by a wide range of variables including tumor type, location of the tumor, patient age, neurological condition, and other existing medical conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. The NJNI Brain Tumor Center offers patients the latest, most advanced treatment modalities to give patients the best chance for positive outcomes. Treatment for these tumors includes surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, delivered alone or in combination.  

Access to Advanced Diagnostic Tools and Procedures

A tumor can often mimic other neurological disorders, and many common symptoms can indicate other medical conditions. Therefore, making an accurate diagnosis is critical to establishing the right treatment protocol for our patients.

The NJNI Brain Tumor Center employs cutting-edge diagnostic tools to locate and identify tumors combined with state-of-the-art laboratories to help determine which treatments are most appropriate. In fact, our imaging center utilizes technologically-advanced imaging not readily available at all institutions. The superb reliability of the 3T MRI allows our board-certified radiologists to differentiate between benign and potentially hazardous medical conditions with confidence. As a result, our healthcare team can provide an earlier diagnosis and treatment, subsequently leading to more positive outcomes. We also use Functional and Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI scans, which delineate critical areas of function and their relationship to the tumor. With these studies, the potential risks of surgery are identified, greatly improving the planning of surgery and making possible treatments that would otherwise have not been attempted. Other specialized procedures include MR spectroscopy and PET imaging, which may help distinguish between tumor and non-tumor lesions of the brain.

Neurosurgery and Neuropathology

Surgical procedures may include biopsy (open or stereotactic) alone, or resection. Other surgical procedures may include functional brain mapping, which involves “awake” craniotomies for language mapping. Intraoperative monitoring and computer-assisted, image-guided surgery for both spine, and brain tumor patients, are frequently utilized. In addition, some patients may be appropriate for chemotherapy wafers placed at the time of surgery. These options are discussed with your treating neurosurgeon. The neurosurgical program includes minimally invasive spine procedures for tumor removal, as well as a skull-based tumor program under the direction of a neurosurgeon with expertise in endoscopic neurosurgical approaches.

During the surgical procedure, a piece of tissue will be sent to our neuropathologist for immediate feedback. This aids the neurosurgeon in making surgical decisions at the time of surgery, and potentially saves the patient from having multiple procedures to come to a single diagnosis. Our neuropathology services are proud to offer a brain tumor marker panel done on-site to identify specific protein and gene changes in the tumors. These markers may aid in treatment choices and provide prognostic information. They include p53, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR),methyl-guanine methyltransferase (MGMT) and phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN). We also offer the evaluation of chromosomal 1p and 19q deletions for cases of oligodendroglioma. These results are discussed with our multidisciplinary team to make further recommendations regarding treatment. GBMDxTM is also sent when appropriate for further information.

Radiation Oncology

Over the past two decades, new techniques have been developed for the effective delivery of radiation that targets the brain tumor while protecting nearby healthy tissues. Conventional radiation therapy uses external beams aimed at the tumor to kill cancer cells and shrink brain tumors. However, new types of radiation therapy are available to ensure greater precision in the treatment of more complex tumors. These more progressive therapies — Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy, High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy and Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery — ensure patients access to the most appropriate treatment options available. (The NJNI was the first facility in New Jersey to offer Gamma Knife radiosurgery, the treatment of choice among neurosurgeons for a multitude of tumors, vascular malformations and functional neurological disorders.) Although some tumors may be treatable with any of these, a decision on the most appropriate modality for the particular type of tumor is decided upon by the patient's entire team of treating physicians.

Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Follow-up

With a balanced approach to patient care, the NJNI Brain Tumor Center offers progressive chemotherapy treatment to help combat a patient’s specific diagnosis. The Neuro-oncology team is proud to offer standard chemotherapy regimens, but also some of the most advanced treatments available.

The NJNI Brain Tumor Center provides patients access to new advanced treatment options under investigation through our participation in pharmaceutical-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials as well as Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) clinical trials and Cancer Institute of New Jersey Oncology Group (CINJOG) clinical trials. Both the RTOG and CINJOG are leading multicenter research organizations systematically testing novel treatment approaches against cancer and pursuing fully-integrated translational and quality-of-life research to advance this effort.