Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

Program Leadership

Allan Friedman, MD
Henry Friedman, MD
Associate Director, Clinical Research
Darell Bigner, MD, PhD
Associate Director, Basic Research


The common interests of the Brain Tumor Research Program are primary malignant brain tumors of adults and children. The scientific goals are to:

  • Conduct epidemiological and molecular epidemiological studies to investigate etiology and to identify populations at greater and lesser risk for development of malignant brain tumors in adults and children

  • Determine molecular mechanisms of transformation, altered growth control, and invasion of malignant brain tumors of adults and children

  • Identify new drugs active against primary brain tumors of adults and children

  • Determine mechanisms of drug resistance in primary brain tumors, and to institute methods to overcome drug resistance

  • Develop monoclonal antibodies and recombinant DNA antibody fragments reactive with molecular targets, primary brain tumors, and to develop immunoconjugates for brain tumor treatment

  • Develop new radiolabeling technology for peptides and monoclonal antibodies and their fragments that will facilitate the investigation of promising radionuclides, including the α-emitter 211Astatine and the beta-emitter 177Lutetium, in targeted radiotherapy clinical trial for brain tumor patients

  • Develop cell-mediated immunotherapy and dendritic-based vaccine trials for brain tumors

  • Develop oncolytic poliovirus with no neurovirulence, but retention of oncolytic capacity for gliomas, into a reagent that can be used for therapy of malignant gliomas and neoplastic meningitis from breast cancer

  • Develop imaging capabilities with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for improved brain tumor diagnosis, monitoring of therapeutic response, and determination of patient-specific radiation dosimetry in radiolabeled antibody, chemotherapy and small molecular inhibitor clinical trials in brain tumor patients

  • Design and execute Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III clinical trials in primary and metastatic brain tumors in adults and children, based on laboratory discoveries within the Program, and to execute clinical trials for improvement of quality of life in brain tumor patients

Duke continues to lead the nation in having the largest clinical brain tumor service, seeing between 800 and 900 new brain tumor patients annually. Learn more at The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center.

Additional Contacts

Christina Kitchin Cone, ANP-BC, AOCNP
Administrative Director
Phone: 919.684.5301

Susan Boulton, Assistant Research Practice Manager
Phone: 919.668.0896

The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center

Clinical Trials

Make An Appointment

To make an appointment, please call 888.275.3853. For more information on brain cancer care at Duke Health, visit Brain Tumor: Glioblastoma and Other Brain Cancers or The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. To find a doctor, visit Find A Specialist.