Sandeep Kunwar MD

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Associate Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery

Surgical Director, California Center for Pituitary Disorders at UCSF







Dr. Kunwar's primary clinical interests is the treatment of pituitary adenomas and other parasellar tumors by minimally invasive endonasal approaches. He has one of the largest pituitary surgical series in the world. He also focuses on adult brain and spinal cord tumors and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery for metastatic and primary brain tumors. He is surgical director of the California Center for Pituitary Disorders at UCSF.

Dr. Kunwar's research includes the development and institution of novel surgical-based therapies for the treatment of malignant gliomas. These strategies utilize tumor-targeted drugs delivered through direct intracerebral microinfusion (convection-enhanced delivery), which bypasses the blood-brain barrier. Initial results indicate this to be a safe and effective method for drug delivery with some initial promising results. In the laboratory, in conjunction with Krys Bankiweicz PhD, he is exploring the delivery of other antitumor agents including immunoliposomes (with Dr. John Park) and viral particles into the brain. Studies in rodents and nonhuman primate models are underway in the hope of expanding the ability to selectively target tumor cells and deliver antitumor agents to regions of normal brain infiltrated with tumor.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1988: BA, University of California, Berkeley
1991-1992: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar, National Cancer Institute
1993: MD, University of California, San Francisco
1993-1999: Residency in Neurological Surgery, UCSF
1997-1998: Research Fellow, Brain Tumor Research Center, UCSF

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for Cancer Research
California Association of Neurological Surgeons
Society for Neuro-Oncology
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
California Association of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)
AANS and CNS, Joint Section for Tumors

Selected Honors and Awards

1988: Phi Beta Kappa, University of California, Berkeley
1993: Alpha Omega Alpha, University of California, San Francisco
1999: Preuss Resident Research Award, American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons
1999: Edwin Boldrey Basic Science Research Award, San Francisco Neurological Society
2006: Rosegay Resident Teaching Award, Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF
2006: Best Doctors in America
2007: Best Doctors in America

Selected Recent Publications

Vogelbaum MA, Sampson JH, Kunwar S, Chang SM, Shaffrey M, Asher AL, Lang FF, Croteau D, Parker K, Grahn AY, Sherman JW, Husain SR, Puri RK. Convection-enhanced delivery of cintredekin besudotox (Interleukin-13-PE38QQR) followed by radiation therapy with and without temozolomide in newly diagnosed malignant gliomas: Phase 1 study of final safety results [published online ahead of print September 15, 2008]. Neurosurgery.
 
Huang K, Sneed PK, Kunwar S, Kragten A, Larson DA, Berger MS, Chan A, Pouliot J, McDermott MW. Surgical resection and permanent iodine-125 brachytherapy for brain metastases [published online ahead of print August 22, 2008]. J Neurooncol. doi: 10.1007/s11060-008-9686-2
 
Sughrue ME, Chang EF, Tyrell JB, Kunwar S, Wilson CB, Blevins LS Jr. Preoperative dopamine agonist therapy improves post-operative tumor control following prolactinoma resection [published online ahead of print Jul 24, 2008]. Pituitary. doi: 10.1007/s11102-008-0135-1.
 
Sampson JH, Akabani G, Archer GE, Berger MS, Coleman RE, Friedman AH, Friedman HS, Greer K, Herndon JE 2nd, Kunwar S, McLendon RE, Paolino A, Petry NA, Provenzale JM, Reardon DA, Wong TZ, Zalutsky MR, Pastan I, Bigner DD. Intracerebral infusion of an EGFR-targeted toxin in recurrent malignant brain tumors. Neuro Oncol 2008;10(3):320-9.
 
Chang EF, Zada G, Kim S, Lamborn KR, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Tyrrell JB, Wilson CB, Kunwar S. Long-term recurrence and mortality after surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy for nonfunctional pituitary adenomas. J Neurosurg 2008;108(4):736-45.
 
Sanai N, Quiñones-Hinojosa A, Narvid J, Kunwar S. Safety and efficacy of the direct endonasal transsphenoidal approach for challenging sellar tumors. J Neurooncol 2008;87(3):317-25.
 
Roy S, Josephson SA, Fridlyand J, Karch J, Kadoch C, Karrim J, Damon L, Treseler P, Kunwar S, Shuman MA, Jones T, Becker CH, Schulman H, Rubenstein JL. Protein biomarker identification in the CSF of patients with CNS lymphoma. J Clin Oncol 2008;26(1):96-105.
 
Vogelbaum MA, Sampson JH, Kunwar S, Chang SM, Shaffrey M, Asher AL, Lang FF, Croteau D, Parker K, Grahn AY, Sherman JW, Husain SR, Puri RK. Convection-enhanced delivery of cintredekin besudotox (interleukin-13-PE38QQR) followed by radiation therapy with and without temozolomide in newly diagnosed malignant gliomas: phase 1 study of final safety results. Neurosurgery 2007;61(5):1031-8.
 
Wang VY, Barbaro NM, Lawton MT, Pitts L, Kunwar S, Parsa AT, Gupta N, McDermott MW. Complications of lumboperitoneal shunts. Neurosurgery 2007;60(6):1045-9.
 
Kunwar S, Prados MD, Chang SM, Berger MS, Lang FF, Piepmeier JM, Sampson JH, Ram Z, Gutin PH, Gibbons RD, Aldape KD, Croteau DJ, Sherman JW, Puri RK; Cintredekin Besudotox Intraparenchymal Study Group. Direct intracerebral delivery of cintredekin besudotox (IL13-PE38QQR) in recurrent malignant glioma: a report by the Cintredekin Besudotox Intraparenchymal Study Group. J Clin Oncol 2007;25(7):837-44.
 
Chang S, Vogelbaum M, Lang FF, Haines S, Kunwar S, Chiocca EA, Olivi A, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Parsa A, Warnick R; American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (AANS/CNS). GNOSIS: guidelines for neuro-oncology: standards for investigational studies--reporting of surgically based therapeutic clinical trials. J Neurooncol 2007;82(2):211-20.
 
Chi JH, Parsa AT, Berger MS, Kunwar S, McDermott MW. Extended bifrontal craniotomy for midline anterior fossa meningiomas: minimization of retraction-related edema and surgical outcomes. Neurosurgery 2006;59(4 Suppl 2):ONS426-34.
 
Chi JH, Sughrue M, Kunwar S, Lawton MT. The "yo-yo" technique to prevent cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea after anterior clinoidectomy for proximal internal carotid artery aneurysms. Neurosurgery 2006;59(1 Suppl 1):ONS101-7.
 
Kunwar S, Chang SM, Prados MD, Berger MS, Sampson JH, Croteau D, Sherman JW, Grahn AY, Shu VS, Dul JL, Husain SR, Joshi BH, Pedain C, Puri RK. Safety of intraparenchymal convection-enhanced delivery of cintredekin besudotox in early-phase studies. Neurosurg Focus 2006;20(4):E15.
 
Sampson JH, Akabani G, Friedman AH, Bigner D, Kunwar S, Berger MS, Bankiewicz KS. Comparison of intratumoral bolus injection and convection-enhanced delivery of radiolabeled antitenascin monoclonal antibodies. Neurosurg Focus 2006;20(4):E14.
 
Kioi M, Husain SR, Croteau D, Kunwar S, Puri RK. Convection-enhanced delivery of interleukin-13 receptor-directed cytotoxin for malignant glioma therapy [Review]. Technol Cancer Res Treat 2006;5(3):239-50.
 
Misra A, Pellarin M, Hu L, Kunwar S, Perhouse M, Lamborn KR, Deen DF, Feuerstein BG. Chromosome transfer experiments link regions on chromosome 7 to radiation resistance in human glioblastoma multiforme. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2006;45(1):20-30.
 
Melisko ME, Kunwar S, Prados M, Berger MS, Park JW. Brain metastases of breast cancer [Review]. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther 2005;5(2):253-68.
 
Parney IF, Kunwar S, McDermott M, Berger M, Prados M, Cha S, Croteau D, Puri RK, Chang SM. Neuroradiographic changes following convection-enhanced delivery of the recombinant cytotoxin interleukin 13-PE38QQR for recurrent malignant glioma. J Neurosurg 2005;102(2):267-75.
 
McDermott MW, Berger MS, Kunwar S, Parsa AT, Sneed PK, Larson DA. Stereotactic radiosurgery and interstitial brachytherapy for glial neoplasms [Review]. J Neurooncol 2004;69(1-3):83-100.