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Neuro-Oncologist Joins TGH Cancer Institute

Published: Jan 25, 2022

The new Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute is providing compassionate care and next-generation treatment.

Tampa, FL (Jan. 25, 2022) –Tampa General Hospital is pleased to welcome Dr. Tulika Ranjan, a distinguished neuro-oncologist, to its newly established neuro-oncology program at TGH Cancer Institute. The comprehensive, multidisciplinary program is dedicated to improving the outcomes, survival and quality of life of patients with central nervous system (CNS) tumors by bringing together a world-class team of renowned neurosurgeons and neurologists from Tampa General and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Ranjan brings a wealth of experience in treating adult primary brain and spinal cord tumors, as well as innovative research on new therapies for patients with glioblastoma (GBM), a highly aggressive form of brain tumor.

“I’m thrilled to join Tampa General as it expands its Cancer Institute and look forward to working with the neuro-oncology team to serve the needs of neuro-oncology brain tumor patients in the Tampa Bay area,” Ranjan said. “I got into the field because I was fascinated with neuro-oncology and embraced the opportunity and challenges of pursuing newer treatments. I truly enjoy treating patients like family and conducting impactful clinical research.”

Ranjan completed her training in neurology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), in Newark, now known as Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Services, followed by a neuro-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She was recruited to Duke University Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center in North Carolina, one of the best comprehensive neuro-oncology programs in the world, where she focused on innovative clinical/translational trials, including the Polio vaccine trial (PVSRIPO).

Since 2015, Ranjan served as director of neuro-oncology at Allegheny Health Network, a 13-hospital medical system with facilities throughout western Pennsylvania and one hospital in western New York. In this role, she oversaw a comprehensive neuro-oncology team that specialized in advanced modalities such as laser interstitial thermal therapy (treatment of hard-to-reach brain tumors with a laser catheter), precision medicine (a treatment approach that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle) and cancer stem cell chemo-sensitivity testing to identify and potentially reduce therapy resistance. In addition, she has been the principal investigator of several clinical trials evaluating targeted and immune-based therapies as well as using genomics information to better tailor personalized therapies for patients with central nervous system (CNS) malignancies.

“Tampa General Hospital has a reputation of having a cadre of highly skilled neurosurgeons and neurologists with expertise in the management of complex tumors in the brain and spine as well as in the treatment of neurological complications associated with cancer treatment. By adding to this ’A-Team,’ with the remarkable neuro-oncology credentials and extensive clinical and research experience of Dr. Ranjan, we are rounding up our unique, compassionate and comprehensive care for patients with CNS tumors in our region and beyond,” said Dr. Eduardo M. Sotomayor, director of TGH Cancer Institute.

At Tampa General, as in her prior position, Ranjan will coordinate care with a multidisciplinary team that in addition to neurosurgeons and neurologists will include a neuropathologist, radiation oncologists, a neuropsychologist, and a neuroradiologist. The support team also includes psychiatrists, palliative care, integrative medicine, nutritionists, social workers and more. In alignment with TGH Cancer Institute’s “whole cancer patient” philosophy, after surgery is performed, Ranjan takes on the role of the patient’s family medical doctor, serving as the go-to physician for coordinating all the patient’s needs at Tampa General.

“Dr. Ranjan has built an impressive career in providing top-quality care and performing state-of-the-art clinical trials for patients with CNS malignancies. More importantly, she has a passion and a long track record of treating elderly patients, making her a key addition to the TGH Cancer Institute in providing next-generation care and treatment to our elderly patients throughout Florida,” said Dr. Abraham Schwarzberg, senior vice president of oncology and network development at Tampa General.

As a neuro-oncologist, Ranjan will bring new areas of care and clinical research to TGH Cancer Institute:

  • Innovative clinical trials based on a patient’s genetic makeup, as well as novel cellular and immune-based therapies for patients with brain tumors.

  • Ranjan’s team will also establish collaborations with other leading institutions at the national level to focus on cutting-edge clinical trials.

  • Chemo ID, a cancer stem cell assay for tumor cells – the clinical trial has run for three years at the national level.

  • Establishment of a brain and spinal metastasis clinic.

  • Management of neurological complications associated with cancer therapies, including cellular therapies and bispecific monoclonal antibodies.

Ranjan will work with both the neurology and neurosurgery departments at Tampa General and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Physicians in both specialties have welcomed her to the team. “Dr. Ranjan brings a high level of expertise in neuro-oncological treatment and cutting-edge research from some of the world’s top oncology centers to the TGH Cancer Institute. She is a great, new addition to the world-class oncological neurosurgeons and other outstanding oncologists already at Tampa General,” noted Dr. Clifton L. Gooch, professor and Tampa General Hospital endowed chair in neurology, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and vice president, clinical and translational research, Tampa General.

Adding to those comments, Dr. Harry Van Loveren, chair of the neurosurgery department, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and chief of neurosurgery, Tampa General, noted “Dr. Ranjan’s experience in coordinating multidisciplinary care to meeting the medical, surgical and personal needs of patients will advance our ability to provide care that helps patients experience the best possible results.”

Building on the success of the Tampa General Hospital oncology program – rated among the top 10 percent for cancer care in the U.S. according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 rankings – the TGH Cancer Institute will provide comprehensive care via leading-edge therapies and advanced diagnostic imaging tools. The addition of Ranjan at the Cancer Institute underscores Tampa General’s priority of providing top-tier, innovative care to cancer patients in a leading academic medical center.

Beyond neuro-oncology treatment at the Cancer Institute, Tampa General’s cancer physicians will offer a highly coordinated range of multidisciplinary specialties such as hematologic malignancies, stem cell and cellular therapies, and thoracic oncology, breast, colorectal and gynecologic oncology.  Advanced subspecialties will be offered as well, including liver and hepatobiliary oncology, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and genitourinary (reproductive system and genitourinary tract). Tampa General will continue to take a multidisciplinary approach and will strongly emphasize compassionate and personalized care that focuses on the whole patient. For more information about the Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute, visit www.tgh.org/cancer.

ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL
Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in
U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top 4 hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.  As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.  For more information, go to www.tgh.org.