Brain metastasis. Credit: Nephron, Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

UCSF Offers New Clinical Service for Patients with Brain Metastases

Brain metastasis. Credit: Nephron, Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Neuro-oncologist Mariza Daras, MD, has joined the faculty at the Brain Tumor Center, in part to play a leading role in coordinating care for patients with CNS metastases. Daras has spent the last six years at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Brain Tumor Center, treating primary tumors and metastatic disease. 

“One goal for me at UCSF will be to help medical oncologists provide more comprehensive care for people with CNS metastases by creating an infrastructure specifically for these patients, whose metastatic disease tends to have very specific characteristics,” says Daras.

UCSF neuro-oncologist Mariza Daras, MD
Mariza Daras, MD, will be leading the new clinical service for patients with metastatic brain tumors.

Given the increasing complexity of care for patients with metastatic brain tumors, the new clinical service will help with the following:

  • Facilitating access to care
  • Integrating treatments among different specialties, including Neuro-oncology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Radiation Oncology
  • Bridging inpatient to outpatient treatment
  • Collaborating in the development of clinical and translational research in the area of CNS metastases

“My role will be to tie together all the expert pieces available at UCSF into a dedicated consultative service that supports medical oncologists as they treat metastases involving the brain,” said Daras.

The clinic will be geared toward patients with brain and/or leptomeningeal metastases with new or progressive CNS disease and for any associated neurologic complications, including radiation necrosis, cerebral edema, headaches, seizures, cognitive difficulties, paraneoplastic complications, gait balance difficulties. Lung and breast cancer are among the most common cancers to metastasize to the brain, so this clinical service will coordinate with the Thoracic and Breast Oncology clinics at UCSF. 

Daras will also work with medical oncologists and other expert UCSF specialties and resources to develop new clinical trials designed specifically for patients with metastatic brain tumors. “The goal is to personalize care,” she says. “If we join forces for everything from preclinical modeling through collection of biospecimens and biobanking, perhaps we can offer more targeted approaches.”

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