Dr. Shah will bring novel therapeutics to patients with glioblastoma tumors.
Ashish Shah, M.D., has assumed the newly created position of director of clinical trials and translational research and principal investigator in the Section of Virology and Immunotherapy at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Brain Tumor Initiative (BTI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Shah, who calls himself a “quadruple ’Cane,” returns to the site of his undergraduate studies, medical school, and residency as a faculty member. This follows a year-long fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where he focused on clinical trial design and translational neuro-oncology.
Now, Dr. Shah’s mission is to marry the clinical trials experience with his laboratory research and neurosurgery background to help the team bring novel therapeutics to patients with brain tumors. His work will focus on the highly aggressive glioblastoma, which represents about half of all malignant brain tumors.
This coupling of neurosurgery expertise with a dynamic research focus is rare, and Dr. Shah joins Michael Ivan, M.D., BTI’s director of research, in fulfilling this dual role. Not only has Dr. Shah performed some of the most complex brain tumor surgeries, he has also published scores of papers on novel therapies and treatment approaches.
Much of Dr. Shah’s research, however, will focus on viruses associated with brain tumors, which he sees as fundamental to understanding glioblastoma in particular, and which may underlie curative treatment that has been so elusive in this complex cancer.
The team is planning future biomarker driven virotherapy trials, as well as trials that will help predict which patients may benefit from certain therapies.