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10 Spine Oncology Specialists to Know

Written by  Laura Dyrda | Tuesday, 17 May 2011 15:16
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This is a list of 10 spine surgeons and neurosurgeons who have a focus on spinal oncology.


Carlos Bagley, MD (Duke Health, Durham, N.C.). Dr. Bagley is trained in both neurosurgery and spine surgery, focusing on spinal oncology, spine neurosurgery and spinal reconstructive surgery. His spinal oncology interests include the treatment of chordomas, spinal cord astrocytomas and ependymomas and spinal column metastases. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Bagley conducts research focused on developing new techniques for the treatment of cancers that affect the spinal cord and column. Articles based on his research have been published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, among other professional publications. Dr. Bagley earned his medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine and completed his residency in neurological surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Johns Hopkins.

Mark H. Bilsky, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City). Dr. Bilsky is the director of Memorial Sloan-Kettering's multidisciplinary spine tumor team, a group focused on treating patients with spine and paraspinal tumors. He has also authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and is the lead author on the book Tumors of the Spine. Dr. Bilsky also serves as one of the lead investigators in the International Spine Radiosurgery Consortium, which aims to improve the effectiveness and delivery of radiosurgery. He is a current participant in the Spine Oncology Study Group. Dr. Bilsky earned his medical degree at Emory University in Atlanta and completed his residency at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. His additional training includes fellowships at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the University of Louisville (Ky.).

Ali Bydon, MD (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore).
Dr. Bydon the clinical director of Spine Neurosurgery at JHBMC and the director of the Spinal Column Biomechanics and Surgical Outcomes Laboratory, which focuses on degenerative spine disorders, neuroplastic spinal disorders and minimally invasive spine surgery. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Bydon has published articles based on his research in professional journals such as the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. Dr. Bydon earned his medical degree at the University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor and completed his residency in neurological surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. His additional training includes a fellowship in minimally invasive spine surgery at Henry Ford and a second fellowship at Louisiana State University on the surgical treatment of peripheral nerves.

Mark B. Dekutoski, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.).
Dr. Dekutoski is an orthopedic spine surgeon and an associate professor of orthopedics at Mayo Clinic. He has a professional interest in adult and pediatric spine deformity, kyphosis, spinal tumors and disc degeneration among young athletes. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Dekutoski has published articles based on his research in professional journals such as Spine and The Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques. He is a member of the Spine Oncology Research Group. Dr. Dekutoski earned his medical degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a fellowship at Twin Cities Scoliosis Spine Center in Minneapolis.

James Harrop, MD (Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia).
Dr. Harrop is the division director for adult reconstructive spine at Jefferson University Hospital. He has a professional interest in neurosurgery as it relates to adult reconstructive spine surgery and spinal oncology. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Harrop is a member of several organizations, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He also participates in the Spine Oncology Study Group. Dr. Harrop earned his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College and completed his residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He also completed a combined neurosurgical and orthopedic spine fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.

Bruce Frankel, MD (Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston). Dr. Frankel is an associate professor of neurological surgery and radiation oncology at the Medical University of South Carolina as well as the director of Neuro-oncology. He has a professional interest in treating brain and spinal tumors, minimally invasive and complex spine surgery and adult spinal deformity. During his career, he has also engaged in research on various topics and published in professional journals such as Spine and the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. Dr. Frankel earned his medical degree at SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse (N.Y) College of Medicine, where he also completed his residency in neurosurgery and fellowship in spine surgery.

Patrick Hsieh, MD (USC Neurosurgery Spine Center, Los Angeles). Dr. Hsieh is the director of the USC Neurosurgery Spine Center and an associate professor of clinical neurosurgery at USC Keck School of Medicine. His expertise is in treating patients with spine tumors, spinal deformity and minimally invasive spine surgery. He is also interested in artificial disc replacement and motion preservation. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Hsieh conducts research on the outcomes for spinal oncology surgery as well as spinal biomechanics and the application of osteobiologics and nanoparticles for spine reconstruction. He earned his medical degree at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and completed his residency in neurosurgery at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center in Chicago. During his time at Northwestern, he also received training in spinal deformity surgery and advanced minimally invasive spine surgery. He has additional experience from a spine instructorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, focusing on spinal oncology and complex spine reconstructive surgery.

Tyler Koski, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago).
Dr. Koski is an assistant professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. He has been instrumental in developing the Northwestern High Risk Spine protocol. His clinical interests include brain and spinal cord tumors, adult deformity and trauma. In addition to his clinical practice, he also engages in research on sagittal alignment and spinal biomechanics. Articles based on his research have appeared in professional journals such as Spine. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Koski earned his medical degree at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, Mich., and completed his residency and fellowship at McGraw Medical Center/Northwestern University.

Meic H. Schmidt, MD (Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City). Dr. Schmidt is the director of spinal oncology and an associate professor in the department of neurosurgery at the University of Utah. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Schmidt is a member of the Spine Oncology Study Group and he investigates the benefits of minimally invasive spinal surgery for metastatic tumors and the development of spinal radiosurgery techniques. His further research interests include tumor biology and the application of laser surgery using light-sensitive drugs for primary and metastiatic brain and spinal cord tumors. NASA Space Technology Hall of Fame awarded Dr. Schmidt the Space Technology Research Award for his work using LED technology in photodynamic therapy of cancer. He earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Madison, where he also completed his residency in neurosurgery. His additional training includes two fellowships in neuro-oncology and spine surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

Joseph H. Schwab, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston). Dr. Schwab is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston. His practice includes managing benign and malignant tumors as well as other conditions of the spine. Oncology is a particular area of interest for Dr. Schwab, and his research into spinal tumors has been published in several professional journals, including Spine. Dr. Schwab earned his medical degree at The Chicago Medical School and completed his residency at Mayo Clinic & Foundation. His additional training includes fellowships at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Schwab earned a Master's degree from Harvard/MIT School of Health Sciences and Technology as part of the Clinical Investigator Training Program.

Related Articles to Spine Surgeons:
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8 Spine and Neurosurgeon Leaders at Large Hospitals


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