Cancer.Net Specialty Editor: Childhood Cancers
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
Ian Pollack, MD, FAANS, FACS, FAAP, is the Leland Albright Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine, co-director of the Brain Tumor Program at the university’s Cancer Institute and former chair of the Brain Tumor Strategy Group of the Children’s Oncology Group, an international multi-institutional consortium that studies ways to improve cancer treatment for children. Dr. Pollack currently co-chairs the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Brain Malignancy Steering Committee, and is an institutional principal investigator in the NCI supported Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and a member of its Executive Committee.
Dr. Pollack earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. After completing his residency at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Pollack was awarded the Van Wagenen Traveling Fellowship where he spent time working at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, the University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the University of Uppsala in Uppsala, Sweden.
Through funding by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Pollack is conducting several research studies to examine factors that control or regulate growth of brain tumors. One of his primary research projects, conducted at the Children’s Hospital Rangos Research Center, is exploring the use of signal transduction inhibitors, or chemical compounds, that slow or stop the growth of brain tumors. In laboratory trials, a number of compounds have proven effective in slowing tumor growth – and in several instances, have been translated to clinical trials for children with brain tumors. Dr. Pollack has also led NIH-funded studies on the use of peptide-based vaccine therapy for children with brain tumors, based on preclinical observations from his group regarding tumor antigen expression profiles in childhood gliomas.
Dr. Pollack also is researching new approaches for treating brain tumors in children by examining brain tumor samples at the genetic level. The goal of this study is to identify which types of tumors may respond successfully to standard treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, and which tumors may require alternative treatments.
In addition to pediatric neuro-oncology, Dr. Pollack also provides clinical treatment for the whole gamut of pediatric neurosurgical conditions, including craniofacial disorders, spina bifida, and hydrocephalus. Dr. Pollack is listed among “The Best Doctors in America,” “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering” and “Who’s Who in Health Care and Medicine.”
As co-director of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s neuro-oncology tumor board, Dr. Pollack is dedicated to innovative treatments and cures for brain tumors in children through clinical trials and laboratory research.
Last updated: September 17, 2014