New York Brain Tumor Project Launched at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center

Dr. Susan Pannullo Appointed Director of Newly Created Neuro-Oncology Division<br /><br />Focus on New Treatments for Brain Cancer

Dec 19, 2002

New York, NY

In a major expansion of its neurosurgery program, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center has named Dr. Susan Pannullo as its first Director of Neuro-Oncology in the Department of Neurological Surgery. The new division offers world-class research and treatment for cancers affecting the brain and spine, among other areas. Additionally, a new departmental initiative, the New York Brain Tumor Project, will investigate promising new treatments for brain cancer.

"Dr. Pannullo is one of the nation's few doctors trained in Neurology, Neurological Surgery, and Neuro-Oncology. Accordingly, she is uniquely qualified to lead our multifaceted, multidisciplinary Neuro-Oncology program," said Dr. Philip Stieg, Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery. "Additionally, Dr. Pannullo has that rare combination of research acumen and humanistic patient care."

The Neuro-Oncology division offers the full spectrum of traditional and new and innovative treatments—including, surgery, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, chemotherapy, immune therapy, and complementary therapies. The Department's work, supported, in part, by research grants and direct contributions to the New York Brain Tumor Project, is also the site of promising research.

Two new clinical research studies currently focus on treatments for malignant brain tumors: One investigates a unique immune therapy treatment, which was developed, in part, by Dr. Pannullo; another looks at the use of Celecoxib (Celebrex™), a COX-2 inhibitor, in combination with Temozolomide (Temodar™). Weill Cornell Medical Center is a leader in the study of COX-2 inhibitors for the treatment and prevention of cancers, including those of the colon, lung, gastrointestinal system, bladder, and esophagus. COX-2 is an enzyme found in most cancers.

Dr. Susan Pannullo, who is Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Assistant Attending Surgeon in Neurological Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center, is trained in both Neurology and Neurological Surgery, and is Fellowship-trained in Neuro-Oncology. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from Cornell University in 1983 and her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1987. Following a Medicine Internship at Harvard-Beth Israel Medical Center, Dr. Pannullo completed a Neurology Residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in 1991. From 1991 to 1992, she was an American Cancer Society Fellow in Neuro-Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She then completed a second residency in Neurological Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 1997, becoming the first woman to graduate from the Cornell neurosurgery program. Prior to returning to Weill Cornell, she practiced neurosurgery and neurology at Staten Island University Hospital, where she served as Director of Neuro-Oncology.

Dr. Pannullo is the founder of the Hope Brain Tumor Center, a global brain tumor information service providing consultation on a remote basis to brain tumor patients and their families throughout their treatment course. Her research background includes clinical studies at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Staten Island University Hospital, as well as laboratory research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Pannullo lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.