Meet Dr. Edward PanBrain Tumor Specialist
Brain tumor specialist Edward Pan, M.D., is an expert in translational medicine – a fast-growing approach to cancer care in which doctors and lab researchers put their heads together to get new ideas off the ground and fast-track lab findings into innovative treatment options. Where more traditional methods can be slow to benefit patients, translational medicine calls for physicians who are comfortable speaking the “languages” of lab work, clinical research, and patient care, which can speed up results.
Any neuro-oncologist understands that quality of life is the most important measure. In clinical trials, we try to improve quality of life, or at least extend reasonable quality of life for as long as possible.”
Trained in neuro-oncology and experienced at working with lab researchers as a veteran investigator in dozens of clinical trials, Dr. Pan is ideally suited for the job. He works with fellow neuro-oncologists Elizabeth Maher, M.D., Ph.D., and Robert Bachoo, M.D., Ph.D., to study promising new approaches to treating brain tumors.
“Our neuro-oncologists here have a very productive lab,” Dr. Pan says. “My goal is to partner with these cutting-edge brain tumor lab researchers to do both lab and clinical research.”
He adds that he is constantly on the lookout for trials that could benefit brain tumor patients, such as studies of vaccines that could teach a patient’s immune system to destroy the cancer.
Dr. Pan is part of UT Southwestern’s multidisciplinary brain tumor team, which includes neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuropathologists, and neuroradiologists. Every week, this group of experts meets to discuss recommendations for patients with cancers of the brain, such as glioblastoma multiforme.
Thanks in part to Dr. Pan’s translational expertise, the team can draw upon new ideas from lab research, and patients are often found to be eligible for a clinical trial.
“Brain tumors occur much less frequently compared to other cancers,” says Dr. Pan. “Therefore, if you have a brain tumor, you want brain tumor experts who deal with such cases all the time and who have a lot of experience handling the neurologic complications of these tumors.”