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Skull Base Brain Tumor Research

Summer 1998 Update
By Hrayr Shahinian, MD

Since the last issue of Headlines, we have experienced a growth in all three areas - clinical, academic, and research. Our clinical activities, including our daily interactions with our colleagues in endocrinology who participate in the Pituitary Center, have continued to grow. We have had numerous - both challenging and rewarding - cases treated in a multi-disciplinary framework.

We have had several new additions to our growing team, including Dr. Michel Babajanian from oto-laryngology/ head and neck surgery who has contributed to the care of several of our patients. Dr. Reza Jarrahy from N.Y.U. is our new fellow, as of July 1, 1998. He will spend a period of two years as a clinical/research fellow. Our collaboration with Dr. George Berci from the Department of Surgery, and the Storz and Redmond Companies, is allowing us to convert our transsphenoidal approach for pituitary tumors to an entirely endoscopic procedure. Thus, this will further lower the length of stay from 48-hours to 23-hours, thereby, hoping to truly, define "same-day pituitary-surgery."

This work has already been ongoing in our research facility on pigs. We have already modified the instruments, and have initiated an I.R.B. protocol to introduce it clinically in our patients.

Over the past three months, we have made presentations to colleagues in different specialties in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Los Angeles. The Board of Directors favorably received our annual report card at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Over the next twelve months, we will make presentations at Northshore University Hospital in New York, Rome - Italy, and Cannes - France. Finally, we will host the Fourth Annual Skull Base Surgery Lectureship in Los Angeles, on November 4, 5, and 6, 1999. The international keynote speakers will include Professor Mario Sanna from Rome, Professor Jacques Magnan from Marseille, and Professors J. D'Haens and Mary Thill from Brussels. The symposium will involve interactive-live surgery and several video tapes describing complex procedures including, transcochlear approaches for petroclival meningiomas, endoscopic transsphenoidal hypophysectomy, microvascular decompressions for trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm, craniofacial approaches to the cavernous sinus, and microsurgery of the brainstem.

This activity will be co-sponsored by our C.M.E. office. We are also involved, in collaboration with the pain clinic, in a community lecture on August 13, 1998, entitled "Current Facial Disorders: Facial Paralysis, Facial Spasms, and Facial Pain." This will include a 1-hour presentation by Dr. Steven Graff-Rathford from our pain clinic, Dr. Hart Cohen, one of our prominent staff neurologists, and myself. We will address a vast array of disorders ranging from facial paralysis after tumor resections to facial pain with trigeminal neuralgia. We look forward, as always, to your comments and your participation throughout all of our activities.