One of nation’s foremost neuro-oncologists joins the Pacific Brain Tumor Center at Providence Saint John’s

SANTA MONICA (Oct. 1, 2015) -- Renowned neuro-oncologist Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the medical staff at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and its John Wayne Cancer Institute, famed for clinical and translational research.

Daniel F. Kelly, M.D., director of the Pacific Brain Tumor Center, recruited Dr. Kesari to join the institute as director of neuro-oncology, professor of neuro-sciences and chairman of the Department of Translational Neuro-Oncology and Neuro-therapeutics.

Dr. Kesari, who holds a doctorate in molecular biology, is an expert in brain cancer and practices what he terms “human science” - translational research that blends laboratory science and clinical practice to bring innovative, personalized treatment directly to patients.

His research involves immunotherapy, molecular genetics, innovative drug development for cancer stem cells and development of novel biomarker-based clinical trials for cancers. Before joining Providence Saint John's, he was professor of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Director of Neuro-oncology at Moores UC San Diego Cancer Center.

He approaches his research and patient care with the philosophy that patients with malignant brain tumors are best treated when physicians understand the molecular and biological characteristics of their cancers. Dr. Kesari studies cancer stem cells, their roles in the formation of brain tumors and their resistance to treatment. His expertise in the personalized genomic-based care of brain tumor patients will add a critical and complementary new dimension to the Pacific Brain Tumor Center, which is recognized internationally for advances in minimally invasive keyhole brain tumor surgery. 

A physician and scientist, Dr. Kesari develops targeted drug therapies that will advance the treatment of brain tumors to a new level. An estimated 18,000 Americans are diagnosed with primary brain and spine tumors each year. He cares for these patients as well as a large and growing number of patients with metastatic brain tumors originating from cancers in the breast, lung, skin and other sources. Dr. Kesari also cares for and studies autoimmune neurological disorders including cancer-related encephalitis as well as direct treatment-related toxicities from radiation and chemotherapy such as chemobrain and peripheral neuropathy.

For more information, please contact the Pacific Brain Tumor Center at 310-829-8265 or

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