Apr 21, 2017
NewYork-Presbyterian
New York - 

NewYork-Presbyterian has established the William Rhodes and Louise Tilzer-Rhodes Center for Glioblastoma. Launched with an initial $5 million gift from William Rhodes, the new state-of-the-art program conducts groundbreaking research and provides cutting-edge treatments for glioblastoma and other deadly brain cancers.

The Center is led by physicians from Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, who, along with NewYork-Presbyterian, are national leaders in neuro-oncology. 

Mr. Rhodes, who has been a Life Trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian since 1992, is also issuing a challenge grant program to accelerate fundraising for the new center.

“Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Rhodes, we have an opportunity to make tremendous strides in our understanding and treatment of glioblastomas,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “NewYork-Presbyterian is committed to becoming the world’s leader in the fight against this deadly disease.”

“Glioblastoma has had a profound impact on my family and countless others,” said William Rhodes. “It’s so important that we bring together and empower the brightest minds to bring new therapies—and one day, a cure—to patients.”

Glioblastoma is the most common form of malignant brain tumor and is known for its rapid growth and resistance to most treatments. Only one in 10 glioblastoma patients survive five years after initial diagnosis. Despite some treatment advances in recent years, malignant brain tumors on the whole are the most common cause of cancer-related deaths among adolescents and young adults ages 15-39.  

The William Rhodes and Louise Tilzer-Rhodes Center for Glioblastoma at NewYork-Presbyterian aims to advance care for glioblastoma and other brain cancers via a three-pronged approach: providing multidisciplinary, research-driven patient care, with a focus on genomic and precision medicine; emphasizing translational research to rapidly bring promising new therapies from the bench to the bedside; and educating the next generation of clinicians and scientists, with new fellowships created to expose young physicians to the most cutting-edge work being done in the field.

NewYork-Presbyterian is uniquely positioned to offer this program. The organization’s academic medical center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, is consistently ranked among the nation’s very best for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News and World Report. In addition, the volume of brain tumor cases seen at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is among the highest in the country.

The William Rhodes and Louise Tilzer-Rhodes Center for Glioblastoma is led by four renowned experts in neuro-oncology:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Bruce, co-director of the Brain Tumor Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, neuro-oncology program leader in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, director of the Bartoli Brain Tumor Research Laboratory and the Edgar M. Housepian Professor of Neurological Surgery Research at Columbia University Medical Center;
  • Dr. Andrew Lassman, chief of the division of neuro-oncology in the Department of Neurology and co-director of the Brain Tumor Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, medical director for the Clinical Protocol Data Management Office of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the John Harris Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center;
  • Dr. Howard Fine, the founding director of the Brain Tumor Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, and recruited as the Louis and Gertrude Feil Professor of Medicine and associate director for translational research at the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine; and
  • Dr. Rohan Ramakrishna, a surgical neuro-oncologist in the Brain Tumor Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, and the Alvina and Willis Murphy Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Departmental leadership in neurology and neurosurgery at Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine will also play a guiding role at the center, including:

  • Dr. Richard Mayeux, neurologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Epidemiology, chair of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, and co-director of the Taub Institute;
  • Dr. Robert Solomon, neurosurgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Byron Stookey Professor of Neurological Surgery and
    chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center;
  • Dr. Matthew Fink, neurologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Louis and Gertrude Feil Professor in Clinical Neurology and chairman of the Department of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine; and
  • Dr. Philip Stieg, neurosurgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and professor and chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine.

With funding from Mr. Rhodes’ gift, these physician leaders will have greater infrastructure in place to work across campuses, share information and explore pioneering new treatment options for malignant brain cancers. Patients will have access to a greater number of clinical trials, including those using immunotherapy and precision medicine techniques, a promising new frontier in neuro-oncology.

The Center is created to honor Louise Tilzer-Rhodes, who passed away from glioblastoma in June 2016.

NewYork-Presbyterian

NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive healthcare delivery networks, focused on providing innovative and compassionate care to patients in the New York metropolitan area and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical school partners, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and clinical innovation.

NewYork-Presbyterian has four major divisions: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the magazine’s Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation; NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network is comprised of leading hospitals in and around New York and delivers high-quality care to patients throughout the region; NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services connects medical experts with patients in their communities; and NewYork-Presbyterian Community and Population Health features the hospital’s ambulatory care network sites and operations, community care initiatives and healthcare quality programs, including NewYork Quality Care, established by NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell and Columbia.

NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S. Each year, nearly 40,000 NewYork-Presbyterian professionals deliver exceptional care for more than 4 million patient visits.

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Media Contact:

Dominique Grignetti     212-821-0560     pr@nyp.org