The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke


The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center is one of the largest and most successful in the field. It has received the highest rating of "Outstanding" by a National Cancer Institute peer review group's evaluation of the Duke Cancer Institute. Dedicated entirely to the treatment and cure of brain and spinal tumors in children and adults, we combine the resources of a leading research hub with a commitment to the best in patient care.

For more than 75 years, the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center has been a destination for patients seeking the most advanced treatments, often with therapies not available anywhere else. Our patients are the reason we strive to deliver hope every day and in the years to come.

Read the complete history and accomplishments of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center.

Adult Neuro-Oncology

Dr. Henry Friedman
Dr. Henry S. Friedman

Dr. Annick Desjardins
Dr. Annick Desjardins
Dr. Katherine Peters
Dr. Katherine Peters
Dina Randazzo, DO
Dr. Dina Randazzo
Gordana Vlahovic, MD
Dr. Gordana Vlahovic

Pediatric Neuro-Oncology


Bigner receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Sridharan Gururangan
Dr. Sridharan Gururangan
Dr. Oren Becher
Dr. Oren Becher
  Darell D. Bigner, MD, PhDDarell D. Bigner, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), Edwin L. Jones Jr. and Lucille Finch Jones Cancer Research Professor; director, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke; director, Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke; and chief, Preuss Laboratory for Brain Tumor Research, has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO). Read More...


Targeting Cancer with Genetically Engineered Poliovirus (PVS-RIPO)

 Matthias Gromeier, MD

Dr. Matthias Gromeier

A Brief Background About PVS-RIPO.
PVS-RIPO is a genetically engineered poliovirus that is being investigated as a new anti-cancer agent at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. The idea of targeting cancer with viruses has been around for at least 100 years. However, valid strategies of using ‘oncolytic’ (cancer-fighting) viruses emerged only recently. This is mostly due to technological advances in genetic engineering of viruses.

To work against cancers in patients, oncolytic viruses must target cancer cells for infection and they must kill them. At the same time, they must be safe. Accomplishing this is very difficult scientifically and only very few viruses are suitable as cancer-fighting agents in the clinic. We achieved this feat by genetic engineering to remove poliovirus’ inherent disease-causing ability (a piece of genetic code of a cold-causing rhinovirus was spliced into the poliovirus genome). PVS-RIPO naturally infects almost all cancer cells, because the receptor for poliovirus (which is used for cell entry) is abnormally present on most tumor cells. PVS-RIPO kills cancer cells, but not normal cells, because its ability to grow (and kill) depends on biochemical abnormalities only present in cancer cells. Safety testing in non-human primates and human patients has shown no nerve cell killing, no ability to cause poliomyelitis, and no ability of PVS-RIPO to change back to wild type poliovirus that can cause poliomyelitis.


Visit one of our research centers

Basic and
Clinical Research

Pediatric Brain Tumor
Foundation Institute
at Duke



NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center

A member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Duke University Health System

If you have a primary brain or spinal cord tumor, and are interested in finding out about a consultation at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, please visit our referral page for more information about how to contact us.

If you do not have a primary brain or spinal cord tumor, but are interested in more information about another disease and/or clinical trial options at Duke University Medical Center, please contact the Duke Consultation and Referral Center at 1-888-ASK-DUKE (1-888-275-3853).


AACR Team Science Award

AACR Team Science Award

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) awarded the Eighth Annual AACR Team Science Award to the Duke University/Johns Hopkins University/National Cancer Institute (NCI) Malignant Brain Tumor Team at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, held in San Diego, Calif., April 5-9.

The AACR Team Science Award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious scientific work that has advanced or will likely advance cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention or treatment.



Save The Date

The next Angels Among Us 
5K Run and 3K Family Walk
will be held April 25, 2015.

Find out more...

Links of Interest

Videos of Interest

 People Magazine recently printed an article about our PVS-RIPO Clinical Trial. Read more about this Clinical Trial. You can also watch this video update of the first person to participate in this trial.

"Surgery, radiation and chemo didn't stop the tumor, but an experimental treatment did." Read this article in the Washington Post by a patient who participated in the Poliovirus Vaccine Trial.

Immortality Gene Mutation Identifies Brain Tumors and Other Cancers. Newly identified mutations in a gene that makes cells immortal appear to play a pivotal role in three of the most common types of brain tumors, as well as cancers of the liver, tongue and urinary tract, according to research led by Duke Cancer Institute. Read more...