As a sixth-year neurosurgery resident at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Lisa Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., aches for her patients battling aggressive brain tumors.
Despite surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the average life expectancy for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive type of brain tumor, is 15 months.
“We have to do better than that,” Feldman said. “It’s so frustrating. I see so many patients suffering.”
Thanks to a prestigious fellowship and numerous collaboration efforts, Feldman is feeling optimistic about the future. The Chicago native was selected last year for the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship, which awarded her a $120,000 stipend and $15,000 in research support. She used the funds to travel to New Zealand, where she studied perfluorocarbons as a new oxygen delivery therapy in hope of reversing the death of healthy cells that results from radiation treatment of brain cancers.