Nicholas Butowski MD

Nicholas Butowski MD

Professor of Neurological Surgery

Director of Translational Research, Division of Neuro-Oncology

Director, UCNS Fellowship, Divison of Neuro-Oncology

Chair, CNS Tumors Site Committee, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center 


Dr. Butowski specializes in novel therapeutic approaches to brain tumors, clinical trials, neuro-imaging, cognitive and rehabilitative neurology, medical education, and complementary therapy. His ultimate research goal is to develop novel and effective therapeutic strategies for the treatment of patients with primary brain tumors. The most direct research application is the design and conduct of phase I, II, and III clinical trials sponsored by the NIH, industry, and consortium partners. As a member of the Brain Tumor Center at UCSF, his research goals have expanded to include the evaluation of novel imaging techniques and molecular profiling methods that may influence the selection of patients for treatment. His research interests also include methods and/or treatments to ensure good quality of life for patients with brain tumors and methods and/or treatments that may assist patients in recovering from or coping with brain injury. The majority of his clinical activities involve the assessment and management of adult patients with brain tumors. 

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1995: BA, Northwestern University
1999: MD, University of Illinois at Chicago
1999-2000: Surgical Intern, Evanston-Northwestern Hospital
2000-2003: Resident, Department of Neurology, UCSF
2003-2004: Neuro-Oncology Fellow, Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF
2004: Clinical Instructor, Neurological Surgery, UCSF

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

American Academy of Neurology
Society for Neuro-Oncology
American Society of Clinical Oncology
International Society of Neuro-Oncology

Selected Recent Publications

Ellingson BM, Abrey LE, Nelson SJ, Kaufmann TJ, Garcia J, Chinot O, Saran F, Nishikawa R, Henriksson R, Mason WP, Wick W, Butowski N, Ligon KL, Gerstner ER, Colman H, de Groot J, Chang S, Mellinghoff I, Young RJ, Alexander BM, Colen R, Taylor JW, Arrillaga-Romany I, Mehta A, Huang RY, Pope WB, Reardon D, Batchelor T, Prados M, Galanis E, Wen PY, Cloughesy TF. Validation of post-operative residual contrast enhancing tumor volume as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol. 2018 Apr 5. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noy053. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29660006.

Goode B, Mondal G, Hyun M, Ruiz DG, Lin YH, Van Ziffle J, Joseph NM, Onodera C, Talevich E, Grenert JP, Hewedi IH, Snuderl M, Brat DJ, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK, Rodriguez FJ, Louis DN, Yong WH, Lopes MB, Rosenblum MK, Butowski N, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Phillips JJ, Wiita AP, Yeh I, Jacobson MP, Bastian BC, Perry A, Solomon DA. A recurrent kinase domain mutation in PRKCA defines chordoid glioma of the third ventricle. Nat Commun. 2018 Feb 23;9(1):810. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-02826-8. PubMed PMID: 29476136; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5824822.

Villanueva-Meyer JE, Wood MD, Choi BS, Mabray MC, Butowski NA, Tihan T, Cha S. MRI Features and IDH Mutational Status of Grade II Diffuse Gliomas: Impact on Diagnosis and Prognosis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Mar;210(3):621-628. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18457. Epub 2017 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 29261348; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5823758.

Weller M, Butowski N, Tran DD, Recht LD, Lim M, Hirte H, Ashby L, Mechtler L, Goldlust SA, Iwamoto F, Drappatz J, O'Rourke DM, Wong M, Hamilton MG, Finocchiaro G, Perry J, Wick W, Green J, He Y, Turner CD, Yellin MJ, Keler T, Davis TA, Stupp R, Sampson JH. Go, no-go decision making for phase 3 clinical trials: ACT IV revisited - Authors' reply. Lancet Oncol. 2017 Dec;18(12):e709-e710. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30856-2. PubMed PMID: 29208433.

Nabors LB, Portnow J, Ammirati M, Baehring J, Brem H, Butowski N, Fenstermaker RA, Forsyth P, Hattangadi-Gluth J, Holdhoff M, Howard S, Junck L, Kaley T, Kumthekar P, Loeffler JS, Moots PL, Mrugala MM, Nagpal S, Pandey M, Parney I, Peters K, Puduvalli VK, Ragsdale J 3rd, Rockhill J, Rogers L, Rusthoven C, Shonka N, Shrieve DC, Sills AK Jr, Swinnen LJ, Tsien C, Weiss S, Wen PY, Willmarth N, Bergman MA, Engh A. NCCN Guidelines Insights: Central Nervous System Cancers, Version 1.2017. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017 Nov;15(11):1331-1345. doi: 10.6004/jnccn.2017.0166. PubMed PMID: 29118226.

Gan HK, Reardon DA, Lassman AB, Merrell R, van den Bent M, Butowski N, Lwin Z, Wheeler H, Fichtel L, Scott AM, Gomez EJ, Fischer J, Mandich H, Xiong H, Lee HJ, Munasinghe WP, Roberts-Rapp LA, Ansell PJ, Holen KD, Kumthekar P. Safety, Pharmacokinetics and Antitumor Response of Depatuxizumab Mafodotin as Monotherapy or in Combination with Temozolomide in Patients with Glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Oct 25. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nox202. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29077941.

van den Bent M, Gan HK, Lassman AB, Kumthekar P, Merrell R, Butowski N, Lwin Z, Mikkelsen T, Nabors LB, Papadopoulos KP, Penas-Prado M, Simes J, Wheeler H, Walbert T, Scott AM, Gomez E, Lee HJ, Roberts-Rapp L, Xiong H, Bain E, Ansell PJ, Holen KD, Maag D, Reardon DA. Efficacy of depatuxizumab mafodotin (ABT-414) monotherapy in patients with EGFR-amplified, recurrent glioblastoma: results from a multi-center, international study. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2017 Dec;80(6):1209-1217. doi: 10.1007/s00280-017-3451-1. Epub 2017 Oct 26. PubMed PMID: 29075855; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5686264.

Byron SA, Tran NL, Halperin RF, Phillips JJ, Kuhn JG, de Groot JF, Colman H, Ligon KL, Wen PY, Cloughesy TF, Mellinghoff IK, Butowski NA, Taylor JW, Clarke JL, Chang SM, Berger MS, Molinaro AM, Maggiora GM, Peng S, Nasser S, Liang WS, Trent JM, Berens ME, Carpten JD, Craig DW, Prados MD. Prospective Feasibility Trial for Genomics-Informed Treatment in Recurrent and Progressive Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 15;24(2):295-305. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-0963. Epub 2017 Oct 26. PubMed PMID: 29074604.

Weller M, Butowski N, Tran DD, Recht LD, Lim M, Hirte H, Ashby L, Mechtler L, Goldlust SA, Iwamoto F, Drappatz J, O'Rourke DM, Wong M, Hamilton MG, Finocchiaro G, Perry J, Wick W, Green J, He Y, Turner CD, Yellin MJ, Keler T, Davis TA, Stupp R, Sampson JH; ACT IV trial investigators. Rindopepimut with temozolomide for patients with newly diagnosed, EGFRvIII-expressing glioblastoma (ACT IV): a randomised, double-blind, international phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2017 Oct;18(10):1373-1385. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30517-X. Epub 2017 Aug 23. PubMed PMID: 28844499.

Wahl M, Chang SM, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Costello JF, Mazor T, Alexandrescu S, Lupo JM, Nelson SJ, Berger M, Prados M, Taylor JW, Butowski N, Clarke JL, Haas-Kogan D. Probing the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in gliomas: A phase 2 study of everolimus for recurrent adult low-grade gliomas. Cancer. 2017 Dec 1;123(23):4631-4639. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30909. Epub 2017 Jul 31. PubMed PMID: 28759109; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5693663.

Chan AK, Han SJ, Choy W, Beleford D, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Shieh JT, Bollen AW, Perry A, Phillips JJ, Butowski N, Solomon DA. Familial melanoma-astrocytoma syndrome: synchronous diffuse astrocytoma and pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma in a patient with germline CDKN2A/B deletion and a significant family history. Clin Neuropathol. 2017 Sep/Oct;36(5):213-221. doi: 10.5414/NP301022. PubMed PMID: 28699883; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5628627.

Kline CN, Joseph NM, Grenert JP, van Ziffle J, Talevich E, Onodera C, Aboian M, Cha S, Raleigh DR, Braunstein S, Torkildson J, Samuel D, Bloomer M, Campomanes AGA, Banerjee A, Butowski N, Raffel C, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Phillips JJ, Korn WM, Yeh I, Bastian BC, Gupta N, Mueller S, Perry A, Nicolaides T, Solomon DA. Targeted next-generation sequencing of pediatric neuro-oncology patients improves diagnosis, identifies pathogenic germline mutations, and directs targeted therapy. Neuro Oncol. 2017 May 1;19(5):699-709. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now254. PubMed PMID: 28453743; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464451.

Erwood AA, Velazquez-Vega JE, Neill S, Solomon DA, Butowski N, Nowlan A, Dunbar E, Brat DJ. Chordoid glioma of the third ventricle: report of a rapidly progressive case. J Neurooncol. 2017 May;132(3):487-495. doi: 10.1007/s11060-017-2399-7. Epub 2017 Mar 18. PubMed PMID: 28315998.

Bush NA, Butowski N. The Effect of Molecular Diagnostics on the Treatment of Glioma. Curr Oncol Rep. 2017 Apr;19(4):26. doi: 10.1007/s11912-017-0585-6. Review. PubMed PMID: 28303493.

Clarke JL, Molinaro AM, Cabrera JR, DeSilva AA, Rabbitt JE, Prey J, Drummond DC, Kim J, Noble C, Fitzgerald JB, Chang SM, Butowski NA, Taylor JW, Park JW, Prados MD. A phase 1 trial of intravenous liposomal irinotecan in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2017 Mar;79(3):603-610. doi: 10.1007/s00280-017-3247-3. Epub 2017 Feb 23. PubMed PMID: 28233053.

Birk HS, Han SJ, Butowski NA. Treatment options for recurrent high-grade gliomas. CNS Oncol. 2017 Jan;6(1):61-70. doi: 10.2217/cns-2016-0013. Epub 2016 Dec 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 28001091.

Pan E, Supko JG, Kaley TJ, Butowski NA, Cloughesy T, Jung J, Desideri S, Grossman S, Ye X, Park DM. Phase I study of RO4929097 with bevacizumab in patients with recurrent malignant glioma. J Neurooncol. 2016 Dec;130(3):571-579. Epub 2016 Nov 8. PubMed PMID: 27826680; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5571739.

Nelson SJ, Li Y, Lupo JM, Olson M, Crane JC, Molinaro A, Roy R, Clarke J, Butowski N, Prados M, Cha S, Chang SM. Serial analysis of 3D H-1 MRSI for patients with newly diagnosed GBM treated with combination therapy that includes bevacizumab. J Neurooncol. 2016 Oct;130(1):171-179. Epub 2016 Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 27535746; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5069332.

Han SJ, Reis G, Kohanbash G, Shrivastav S, Magill ST, Molinaro AM, McDermott MW, Theodosopoulos PV, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Butowski NA, Barani I, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Okada H. Expression and prognostic impact of immune modulatory molecule PD-L1 in meningioma. J Neurooncol. 2016 Dec;130(3):543-552. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 27624915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5560602.

Nelson SJ, Kadambi AK, Park I, Li Y, Crane J, Olson M, Molinaro A, Roy R, Butowski N, Cha S, Chang S. Association of early changes in 1H MRSI parameters with survival for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma receiving a multimodality treatment regimen. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Mar 1;19(3):430-439. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now159. PubMed PMID: 27576874; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464305.

Wahl M, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Lin Y, Perry A, Haas-Kogan DA, Costello JF, Dayal M, Butowski N, Clarke JL, Prados M, Nelson S, Berger MS, Chang SM. Chemotherapy for adult low-grade gliomas: clinical outcomes by molecular subtype in a phase II study of adjuvant temozolomide. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Feb 1;19(2):242-251. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now176. PubMed PMID: 27571885; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464133.

Barajas RF Jr, Butowski NA, Phillips JJ, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Chang SM, Cha S. The Development of Reduced Diffusion Following Bevacizumab Therapy Identifies Regions of Recurrent Disease in Patients with High-grade Glioma. Acad Radiol. 2016 Sep;23(9):1073-82. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 27443507; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5571825.

Han SJ, Bankiewicz K, Butowski NA, Larson PS, Aghi MK. Interventional MRI-guided catheter placement and real time drug delivery to the central nervous system. Expert Rev Neurother. 2016 Jun;16(6):635-9. doi: 10.1080/14737175.2016.1175939. Epub 2016 Apr 20. PubMed PMID: 27054877; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5553275.

Wen Q, Jalilian L, Lupo JM, Li Y, Roy R, Molinaro AM, Chang SM, Prados M, Butowski N, Clarke J, Nelson SJ. Association of Diffusion and Anatomic Imaging Parameters with Survival for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Participating in Two Different Clinical Trials. Transl Oncol. 2015 Dec;8(6):446-55. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2015.10.001. PubMed PMID: 26692525; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4700297.

Imber BS, Braunstein SE, Wu FY, Nabavizadeh N, Boehling N, Weinberg VK, Tihan T, Barnes M, Mueller S, Butowski NA, Clarke JL, Chang SM, McDermott MM, Prados MD, Berger MS, Haas-Kogan DA. Clinical outcome and prognostic factors for central neurocytoma: twenty year institutional experience. J Neurooncol. 2016 Jan;126(1):193-200. PubMed PMID: 26493740; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4826306.

Han SJ, Butowski NA. In Reply: Survival With Glioblastoma Multiforme and the Timing of Chemoradiation. Neurosurgery. 2016 Feb;78(2):E315. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000001078. PubMed PMID: 26492432.

Nabors LB, Portnow J, Ammirati M, Baehring J, Brem H, Brown P, Butowski N, Chamberlain MC, Fenstermaker RA, Friedman A, Gilbert MR, Hattangadi-Gluth J, Holdhoff M, Junck L, Kaley T, Lawson R, Loeffler JS, Lovely MP, Moots PL, Mrugala MM, Newton HB, Parney I, Raizer JJ, Recht L, Shonka N, Shrieve DC, Sills AK Jr, Swinnen LJ, Tran D, Tran N, Vrionis FD, Weiss S, Wen PY, McMillian N, Engh AM. Central Nervous System Cancers, Version 1.2015. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2015 Oct;13(10):1191-202. PubMed PMID: 26483059.

Butowski N, Colman H, De Groot JF, Omuro AM, Nayak L, Wen PY, Cloughesy TF, Marimuthu A, Haidar S, Perry A, Huse J, Phillips J, West BL, Nolop KB, Hsu HH, Ligon KL, Molinaro AM, Prados M. Orally administered colony stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitor PLX3397 in recurrent glioblastoma: an Ivy Foundation Early Phase Clinical Trials Consortium phase II study. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Apr;18(4):557-64. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nov245. Epub 2015 Oct 8. PubMed PMID: 26449250; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4799682.

Lupo JM, Molinaro AM, Essock-Burns E, Butowski N, Chang SM, Cha S, Nelson SJ. The effects of anti-angiogenic therapy on the formation of radiation-induced microbleeds in normal brain tissue of patients with glioma. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Jan;18(1):87-95. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nov128. Epub 2015 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 26206774; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4677411.

Han SJ, Englot DJ, Birk H, Molinaro AM, Chang SM, Clarke JL, Prados MD, Taylor JW, Berger MS, Butowski NA. Impact of Timing of Concurrent Chemoradiation for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma: A Critical Review of Current Evidence. Neurosurgery. 2015 Aug;62 Suppl 1:160-5. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000801. Review. PubMed PMID: 26181937.

Racine CA, Li J, Molinaro AM, Butowski N, Berger MS. Neurocognitive Function in Newly Diagnosed Low-grade Glioma Patients Undergoing Surgical Resection With Awake Mapping Techniques. Neurosurgery. 2015 Sep;77(3):371-9; discussion 379. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000779. PubMed PMID: 25930064.

Han SJ, Rutledge WC, Molinaro AM, Chang SM, Clarke JL, Prados MD, Taylor JW, Berger MS, Butowski NA. The Effect of Timing of Concurrent Chemoradiation in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma. Neurosurgery. 2015 Aug;77(2):248-53; discussion 253. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000766. PubMed PMID: 25856113; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4506198.

Butowski NA. Epidemiology and diagnosis of brain tumors. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2015 Apr;21(2 Neuro-oncology):301-13. doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000464171.50638.fa. Review. PubMed PMID: 25837897.

Nabors LB, Portnow J, Ammirati M, Brem H, Brown P, Butowski N, Chamberlain MC, DeAngelis LM, Fenstermaker RA, Friedman A, Gilbert MR, Hattangadi-Gluth J, Hesser D, Holdhoff M, Junck L, Lawson R, Loeffler JS, Moots PL, Mrugala MM, Newton HB, Raizer JJ, Recht L, Shonka N, Shrieve DC, Sills AK Jr, Swinnen LJ, Tran D, Tran N, Vrionis FD, Wen PY, McMillian NR, Ho M. Central nervous system cancers, version 2.2014. Featured updates to the NCCN Guidelines. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2014 Nov;12(11):1517-23. PubMed PMID: 25361798; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4337873.

Yoshida Y, Ozawa T, Yao TW, Shen W, Brown D, Parsa AT, Raizer JJ, Cheng SY, Stegh AH, Mazar AP, Giles FJ, Sarkaria JN, Butowski N, Nicolaides T, James CD. NT113, a pan-ERBB inhibitor with high brain penetrance, inhibits the growth of glioblastoma xenografts with EGFR amplification. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Dec;13(12):2919-29. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-14-0306. Epub 2014 Oct 13. PubMed PMID: 25313012; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4364529.

Mrugala MM, Engelhard HH, Dinh Tran D, Kew Y, Cavaliere R, Villano JL, Annenelie Bota D, Rudnick J, Love Sumrall A, Zhu JJ, Butowski N. Clinical practice experience with NovoTTF-100A™ system for glioblastoma: The Patient Registry Dataset (PRiDe). Semin Oncol. 2014 Oct;41 Suppl 6:S4-S13. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2014.09.010. Epub 2014 Sep 16. Erratum in: Semin Oncol. 2015 Jun;42(3):e33-43. PubMed PMID: 25213869.

Osorio JA, Hervey-Jumper SL, Walsh KM, Clarke JL, Butowski NA, Prados MD, Berger MS. Familial gliomas: cases in two pairs of brothers. J Neurooncol. 2015 Jan;121(1):135-40. doi: 10.1007/s11060-014-1611-2. Epub 2014 Sep 11. PubMed PMID: 25208478.

Lacouture ME, Davis ME, Elzinga G, Butowski N, Tran D, Villano JL, DiMeglio L, Davies AM, Wong ET. Characterization and management of dermatologic adverse events with the NovoTTF-100A System, a novel anti-mitotic electric field device for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. Semin Oncol. 2014 Jun;41 Suppl 4:S1-14. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2014.03.011. Epub 2014 Mar 19. PubMed PMID: 24794308.

Andersson U, Wibom C, Cederquist K, Aradottir S, Borg A, Armstrong GN, Shete S, Lau CC, Bainbridge MN, Claus EB, Barnholtz-Sloan J, Lai R, Il'yasova D, Houlston RS, Schildkraut J, Bernstein JL, Olson SH, Jenkins RB, Lachance DH, Wrensch M, Davis FG, Merrell R, Johansen C, Sadetzki S; Gliogene Consortium, Bondy ML, Melin BS. Germline rearrangements in families with strong family history of glioma and malignant melanoma, colon, and breast cancer. Neuro Oncol. 2014 Oct;16(10):1333-40. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nou052. Epub 2014 Apr 9. PubMed PMID: 24723567; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4165415.

Han SJ, Rolston JD, Molinaro AM, Clarke JL, Prados MD, Chang SM, Berger MS, DeSilva A, Butowski NA. Phase II trial of 7 days on/7 days off temozolmide for recurrent high-grade glioma. Neuro Oncol. 2014 Sep;16(9):1255-62. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nou044. Epub 2014 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 24670608; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4136897.

Clarke JL, Molinaro AM, Phillips JJ, Butowski NA, Chang SM, Perry A, Costello JF, DeSilva AA, Rabbitt JE, Prados MD. A single-institution phase II trial of radiation, temozolomide, erlotinib, and bevacizumab for initial treatment of glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol. 2014 Jul;16(7):984-90. PubMed PMID: 24637230; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4057142.