December 2020


In January 2020, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke (the Center) officially became the 32nd member of the Precision Oncology Alliance™ at Caris.

The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center was established within Duke Neurosurgery in 1937 as one of the first brain tumor research and clinical programs in the United States. Since then, it has advanced to become one of the top multidisciplinary pediatric and adult brain tumor programs in the world, leading the way in comprehensive care that combines research breakthroughs, clinical trials and the newest therapies.

The Center focuses its research efforts in the following areas: Molecular Studies, Pre-Clinical Drug Testing, Murine Models, Virotherapy, Active Immunotherapy, Immunoconjugates, Clinical Trials, Causation and Biobanking. In recognition of the program’s efforts, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has given the Center the highest rating of “exceptional” for each of the last 15 years.

Currently, the Center sees up to 900 new adult brain tumor patients and up to 75 new pediatric brain tumor patients each year, from roughly 35 states and 11 foreign countries. The Center conducts more groundbreaking research, sees more brain tumor patients, has more experience with more types of brain tumors, and provides more innovative treatments than most other centers in the world.  

The Center believes an interdisciplinary approach is vital and is committed to providing all of their patients with the very best care. Care teams meet daily to discuss patients’ medical and psychosocial needs and bring every viewpoint to the table. The Center also houses more than 250 full-time employees devoted exclusively to neuro-oncology and encompasses laboratory, clinical, and quality of life/supportive care research programs, patient and family support programs, administrative support services, and adult and pediatric clinical care services.

At the core of The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center’s success lies the commitment of countless physicians, nurses, researchers and staff—all with the collective goal of caring for patients and their families, improving their quality of life, and ultimately finding a cure for brain tumors. It is everyone’s mission within the Center to provide hope and empower brain tumor patients with unparalleled care, research and education.

The Center has 31 researchers who represent 10 departments within Duke University. Annually, these investigators are awarded approximately $14.4 million (direct costs) in grant and contract support. The Center has three faculty members (Dr. Darell Bigner, Dr. Allan Friedman, and Dr. Roger McLendon) who are among the top 20 most cited authors worldwide under the topic of glioblastoma.

About Preston Robert Tisch In 2005, the Tisch family made a transformational gift to Duke to honor the late Preston Robert Tisch. Preston Robert Tisch was one of the most renowned and respected business entrepreneurs in the United States, as well as a national philanthropic leader. He was chairman of Loews Corporation and co-owner of the New York Giants. In 2004, Tisch was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor called glioblastoma. After extensive research, he chose Duke for his care. Tisch lost his battle with brain cancer in 2005, but his legacy has lived on through the years of generous support his family has given to brain tumor research and treatment. In recognition of the generosity of the Tisch family, the Brain Tumor Center at Duke was renamed the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. 

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Preston Robert Tisch
Brain Tumor Center

Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC