Jeffrey Bruce, MD, FACS

Edgar M. Housepian Professor of Neurological Surgery Research

Neurosurgeon Jeffrey Bruce, MD, FACS, has devoted his research career to finding new and better treatments for patients with brain tumors. Dr. Bruce and his team have developed a treatment strategy of local drug delivery known as convection-enhanced delivery, which is a method for delivering drugs directly into brain tumors, increasing the amount of drug that gets into the tumor and therefore optimizing its ability to kill tumor cells. With this new method of delivery, toxic side effects associated with oral or intravenous delivery methods can be avoided, and novel, targeted drugs that would otherwise not be feasible with conventional delivery methods can be utilized. In particular, convection-enhanced delivery allows for the use of new methods of immunotherapy to harness the body’s powerful immune system in killing tumor cells.

For Dr. Bruce, the Irving Institute has been essential to conducting this cutting-edge research. "Our clinical trials are very sophisticated as they require expert management of pumps and catheters to avoid complications in patients being treated for brain tumors," he explains. "The Clinical Research Resource has been a major resource for facilitating this patient-oriented research."

In the next phase of research, he and his team are working with implanted pumps that can be used for long-term delivery strategies. By implanting the pump in the abdomen, he believes he can potentially treat people for weeks and month or even years at a time.

This strategy for delivering drugs directly into the brain is also being considered for other diseases such as Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.