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Skull Base Brain Tumor Research

First Issue
By Hrayr Shahinian, MD

The Skull Base Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was established in August of 1996. Since then, clinical, academic, and research activities have supported our vision for a free-standing Division of Skull Base Surgery committed to the specialized treatment of patients with devastating skull base disorders. Surgical cases have been performed with excellent outcomes in each of the components of pediatric craniolfacial surgery, pituitary surgery, microvascular decompression of cranial nerves and resection of a variety of skull base tumors, including acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, and chordomas.

The temporal bone laboratory has been completed and is being used for drilling temporal bones and perfecting transtemporal approaches to the skull base. A full-time fellow, Dr. Richard Suh, has joined the Institute for one year. As witnessed by the research section in this newsletter, he has been very active in the publication of clinical papers and, more importantly, in research involving the transplantation of fetal pituitary cells in the rat model.

Several national and international guests have visited the Skull Base Institute during the past year. Dr. Mary Thill, a Head and Neck Surgeon from Brussels, Belgium was our guest for four days. She was involved in the activities of the temporal bone lab as well as our clinical activities in the operating room. Two neurosurgeons, Dr. Afif Iliya, a Spine Neurosurgeon from New York, and Dr. Kevin Tracey, an Associate Professor at North Shore University Hospital, were both involved with lectures in the Research Institute and performed a review of our clinical activities. Dr. Charles Thorne, from NYU's Variety Center for Craniofacial Disorders, and Dr. Robert Wood, Director for the Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Anomalies at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta, both well established pediatric craniofacial surgeons, were also involved with a clinical review of our program.