Chordoma Foundation

Medical Advisory Board

Chandra Sen, MD – Chairman

Dr. Sen is a professor of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Medical Center and is a pioneer in the field of skull base surgery. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a founding member of the North American Skull Base Society, and a current member and former president of the New York Society of Neurosurgery. He has published several papers and book chapters on skull base and cervical spine chordomas, and frequently lectures on chordoma at international conferences. Dr. Sen cares deeply for his chordoma patients and describes improving the treatment of chordoma as one of his life goals. Dr. Sen is also a member of the Chordoma Foundation Board of Directors.

Tom DeLaney, MD

Dr. DeLaney is the Andres Soriano Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, Co-Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Medical Director of the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at MGH, where he specializes in treating chordomas and other tumors of the spine. He conducts clinical research involving novel forms of radiation therapy and radiosensitizers, and studies the role of hypoxia in radiation sensitivity.

Paul A. Gardner, MD

Paul A. Gardner, MD, is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Director of the UPMC Center for Cranial Base Surgery. Dr. Gardner is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of endoscopic endonasal surgery, a minimally invasive surgical approach to the skull base. Other surgical interests include pituitary tumors, open cranial base surgery, and vascular surgery. His research has focused on evaluating patient outcomes following these surgeries and more recently on molecular phenotyping of chordomas. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and lectures frequently at local, national, and international scientific meetings.

Hans Gelderblom, MD, PhD

ProfessorHans Gelderblom is medical oncologist and chair of the department of medical oncology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) in the Netherlands. The LUMC is a national center specialised in bone sarcoma including chordoma and home of the Netherlands Bone Tumour Committee. Prof Gelderblom is member of the executive board of the EORTC-Soft tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group and is leading the experimental pharmacology in oncology programme at the LUMC.

Ziya Gokaslan, MD

Dr. Gokaslan is Chief of Neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and the Neurosurgery Chair at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His clinical practice focuses on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic spinal tumors, sacral neoplasms and spinal cord tumors, including chordoma. He developed many novel approaches for resection of spinal neoplasms and sacral tumors. Dr. Gokaslan’s research uses animal models to develop local chemotherapeutic delivery systems for primary and metastatic spinal tumors. In addition, he oversees clinical trials assessing the efficacy of surgery and spinal reconstruction for spinal column tumors.

Mrinal Gounder, MD

Dr. Gounder a medical oncologist specializing in the care of patients with sarcomas of soft tissue and bone at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His research interest is to unravel the complexity of each type of sarcoma and develop new drugs in order to move away from the “one size fits all” paradigm. Currently, he is the lead investigator on several clinical trials and is also an attending physician in the Phase I Clinical Trials program, where he focuses on discovering and developing new and exciting compounds that are more effective in treating all solid tumors and that are less toxic for the patient. He is currently involved in personalized medicine for chordoma patients by sequencing genetic information in real time in order to treat patients with chordoma with the right drug

Christoper Heery, MD

Dr. Heery is the Director of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute. His clinical research is focused on the use of novel agents capable of inducing the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells, including chordoma. He is currently enrolling patients with chordoma in phase 1 immunotherapy studies and has the first randomized phase 2 study evaluating a vaccine in advanced chordoma open presently, as well. Dr. Heery is a graduate of Duke University and received his MD from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. He is board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine.

Fran Hornicek, MD, PhD

Dr. Hornicek is Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Orthopaedic Oncology Service at MGH, where he has one of the nation’s largest surgical practices for chordomas. He is also Co-Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology and director of the Stephan L. Harris Center for Chordoma Care at MGH. In these roles he leads a coordinated, cross-disciplinary chordoma research effort at MGH.

Shreyas Patel, MD

Dr. Patel is the Robert R. Herring Distinguished Professor of Clinical Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Medical Director of the MD Anderson Sarcoma Center and the Deputy Chairman of the Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology. Additionally, he is president of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, and the a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Clinical Research Committee for the Sarcoma Alliance through Research and Collaboration.

Silvia Stacchiotti, MD

Dr. Stacchiotti’s is a medical oncologist at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan, Italy. She specializes in the treatment of patients with sarcoma, including chordoma. Aside from having one of the most active chordoma practices in the world, she leads a network of expert physicians throughout Europe dedicated to working together to provide high quality and coordinated care to chordoma patients. Working with this group, she spearheaded the creation of consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of chordoma published in the Lancet Oncology. She has also been instrumental in planning a multi-institutional European patient registry as well as several multi-institutional clinical trials.

Katie Thornton, MD

Dr. Thornton is a medical oncologist specializing in the care of patients with sarcoma and connective tissue cancers, including chordoma, at Johns Hopkins University. She is the medical director for the Kimmel Cancer Center in the Washington, D.C. area and founded the adult musculoskeletal oncology department in Johns Hopkins. Previously she worked U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products.

Josh Yamada, MD

Dr. Yamada is a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with expertise in treating cancers, including chordoma, with brachytherapy (radiation placed inside of tumors) and image-guided radiation (using advanced medical imaging technology to deliver precise beams of radiation to safely destroy tumors.) He is also involved in clinical research that involves using image-guided technologies to treat tumors in all sites of the body, including adult brain and spine tumors, as well as liver tumors.