Phillip (Jay) Storm, MD is an attending neurosurgeon at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia specializing in pediatric brain tumors. He operates on every type of brain tumor, but has a particular interest in low-grade gliomas, medulloblastomas and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) as well as skull-base tumors such as acoustic neuromas, craniopharyngiomas, and large ependymomas in cerebellopontine angle. With his otolaryngologist colleagues he is also developing an endonasal skull base program at CHOP.
Dr. Storm partners with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, which is at the forefront of pediatric genetic research. Here he is working to develop new treatments that one day will help thousands of children with brain tumors. Currently, tissue from every brain tumor treated at CHOP is sent to the laboratory for sequencing to detect genetic abnormalities. Tumors that look identical under the microscope may in fact have significant genetic variations, explaining why one tumor may respond well to chemotherapy and radiation, and another may not. The goal is to personalize the post-operative chemotherapy and radiation regimen by specifically targeting the treatment based on the genetic abnormality.
Dr. Storm is also conducting research into the cell signaling mechanisms of brain tumors, supported by several competitive grants including the NIH. Once an abnormality in the DNA code is identified, the challenge is to then determine how that abnormality translates into a functional abnormality. Once that is understood, a new potential tumor target will have been identified.
Dr. Storm believes it is important for brain tumor patients to have their surgery at CHOP because the Hospital is currently unable to enroll tumors resected elsewhere into its genetic sequencing protocol. Without the genetic information not all the benefits of this groundbreaking research and experience would be available to the patient. A cure for brain tumors lies in better understanding of their biology so we can develop more effective post-operative treatments to prevent them from recurring.
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