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Noted Duke Brain Cancer Specialist to Direct Allegheny Health Network Neuro-Oncology Program


Tulika Ranjan, MD, a prominent neuro-oncologist from the Duke Brain Tumor Center, has joined Allegheny Health Network (AHN) as Director of its Adult Neuro-Oncology program. 

Dr. Ranjan’s clinical and research interests involve the management of primary brain tumors, brain metastases, leptomeningeal disease and the neurological complications of cancer.  She has special expertise in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of malignant primary brain tumor. 

About 50 percent of patients diagnosed with GBM die within one year and 90 percent die within three years.  Median survival without treatment is just over four months.  Standard treatments for the disease include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Dr. Ranjan was part of the clinical research team at Duke that recently developed a novel therapy for Glioblastoma using the polio virus.  The treatment being tested in an ongoing phase 1 study attacks the tumor using an engineered form of the polio virus that is lethal to cancer cells, but harmless to normal cells.  Infused directly into the tumor, the virus-based therapy also triggers the body’s immune system to launch an attack against the infected tumor cells.

“Dr. Ranjan is an extremely talented and accomplished oncologist whose unique expertise greatly complements our Network’s already robust cancer and neuroscience programs,” said David Parda, MD, Professor and Chair of the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute. “Our team of oncologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons look forward to working collaboratively with Dr. Ranjan to further advance the treatment of brain cancer and help extend and improve the lives of some of our sickest patients.”

AHN’s Cancer Institute is a nationally recognized program that offers the complete spectrum of oncology care, including access to state-of-the-art technologies and new therapies being explored in clinical cancer trials.

Physicians at the Network have participated in many national clinical trials that have provided important information about the pathology and treatment of primary brain tumors, including glioblastoma multiforme and other non-malignant varieties. 

In 2010, Allegheny General Hospital was one of just three medical centers nationwide to receive FDA approval to use an investigational medication which turns tumor cells bright red, enabling surgeons to better see the boundaries of the tumor and achieve more complete surgical removal of cancerous tissue.  

AGH doctors also were among the first in the country to participate in clinical trials of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) therapy, a non-invasive treatment now approved by the FDA for recurrent glioblastoma that slows and reverses tumor growth using low intensity electric fields to inhibit the process by which cancer cells divide and replicate.

“The Departments of Oncology, Neurology and Neurosurgery at AHN have a long history of innovative care for patients with brain cancer and we are very pleased to have a neuro-oncologist and scientist of Dr. Ranjan’s caliber on board to help lead our program into the future,” said James Valeriano, MD, Chair, Department of Neurology, Allegheny Health Network. “Her appointment will greatly enhance our neuro-oncology research efforts and strengthen our capabilities for delivering the best possible care to patients.”

AHN also has a formal affiliation with the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, for clinical collaborations, medical education, and a broad range of cancer research initiatives.   Dr. Ranjan will collaborate with Dr. Stuart Grossman, a leading clinician and Professor of Oncology, Medicine and Neurosurgery at John Hopkins, to expand and enhance AHN’s neuro-oncology program.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to build upon AHN‘s expert capabilities and develop a pioneering neuro-oncology program that offers patients every resource they need to fight this formidable disease,” Dr. Ranjan said.

Board certified in Neuro-Oncology and Neurology, Dr. Ranjan completed her neurology residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a neuro-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  She earned her medical degree at Sri Krishna Medical College, India.

Dr. Ranjan sees patients at the AGH Cancer Center.  Appointments can be scheduled with her by calling 412.359.6220


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