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The one hundred honoree: Priscilla Brastianos, MD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Priscilla Brastianos, MD

Mass General Giving

For Priscilla Brastianos, MD, neuro-oncologist and researcher, the drive to give her patients the best chance of survival is personal. Both her grandmother and mother died of metastatic breast cancer.

In the Brastianos Laboratory at the Mass General Cancer Center, Dr. Brastianos and her team focus on understanding the molecular drivers of brain tumors and metastases to the brain and central nervous system. The laboratory recently discovered potentially clinically significant drivers in meningiomas, craniopharyngiomas, hemangioblastomas and brain metastases and is investigating the role of these drivers as potential therapeutic targets.

In addition to overseeing the laboratory, Dr. Brastianos makes clinical rounds, treating patients and helping them cope with their disease. Les Bebchick, whose wife Sheila is a nine-year survivor of metastatic breast cancer, writes:

“Every once in a while you find a person who is perfectly suited for their profession. From the moment Dr. Brastianos said hello and held my wife’s hand, it seemed as though Sheila was her only patient.

“Her ability to listen, to empathize, yet confidently and succinctly explain my wife’s situation in language we could fully understand, gave my wife and me the greatest sense that, regardless of the circumstance, Dr. Brastianos would be with us and caring for Sheila in every possible way.”