Cancer scares many people, even doctors, but it doesn’t faze Edward Pan, M.D. Growing up near Valparaiso, Ind., he knew early on that he wanted to be a doctor; his father was a family physician who often brought his son to the office.

Dr. Pan majored in medical sciences at Boston University, where he also earned his medical degree. He did his internship at Harvard and his neurology residency at Tufts.

As a neurology resident doing consultations for other doctors, Dr. Pan grew interested in the ins and outs of brain cancer and decided to do a fellowship in clinical neuro-oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

After two additional years at UCSF as a research fellow, Dr. Pan went on to care for brain cancer patients at UCSF, Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando. He spent the five years before coming to UT Southwestern working as a neuro-oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and taught neurology and oncology at the University of South Florida School of Medicine and the Moffitt Cancer Center.

In 2013, he joined the UT Southwestern faculty as Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics.

Dr. Pan is a highly experienced clinical researcher, having been the principal or sub-investigator in numerous trials of cancer drugs for malignant brain tumors. Among many other subjects, he has researched chromosomal abnormalities in brain cancer. In addition, he has published his results in peer-reviewed journals and authored four book chapters.

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Meet Dr. Pan

Brain tumor specialist Edward Pan, M.D., is an expert in translational medicine –  a fast-growing approach to cancer care in which doctors and lab researchers put their heads together to get new ideas off the ground and fast-track lab findings into innovative treatment options. Where more traditional methods can be slow to benefit patients, translational medicine calls for physicians who are comfortable speaking the “languages” of lab work, clinical research, and patient care, which can speed up results.

“Any neuro-oncologist understands that quality of life is the most important measure. In clinical trials, we try to improve quality of life, or at least extend reasonable quality of life for as long as possible.”

Trained in neuro-oncology and experienced in working with lab researchers as a veteran investigator in dozens of clinical trials, Dr. Pan is ideally suited for the job. He works with fellow neuro-oncologist Elizabeth Maher, M.D., Ph.D. to study promising new approaches to treating brain tumors.

“Our neuro-oncologists here have a very productive lab,” Dr. Pan says. “My goal is to partner with these cutting-edge brain tumor lab researchers to do both lab and clinical research.”

He adds that he is constantly on the lookout for trials that could benefit brain tumor patients, such as studies of vaccines that could teach a patient’s immune system to destroy the cancer.

Dr. Pan is part of UT Southwestern’s multidisciplinary brain tumor team, which includes neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuropathologists, and neuroradiologists. Every week, this group of experts meets to discuss recommendations for patients with cancers of the brain, such as glioblastoma multiforme.

Thanks in part to Dr. Pan’s translational expertise, the team can draw upon new ideas from lab research, and patients are often found to be eligible for a clinical trial.

“Brain tumors occur much less frequently compared to other cancers,” says Dr. Pan. “Therefore, if you have a brain tumor, you want brain tumor experts who deal with such cases all the time and who have a lot of experience handling the neurologic complications of these tumors.”

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - University of Calfornia - San Francisco (2000-2003), Neuro-oncology
  • Residency - Tufts University Neurology Residency Program (1997-2000), Neurology
  • Internship - The Cambridge Hospital (1996-1997), Transitional Year
  • Medical School - Boston University School of Medicine (1990-1996)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Academy of Neurology (1998)
  • Society for Neuro-Oncology (2002)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (2004)
Books & Publications

Clinical Focus

  • Gliomas
  • Brain & Spinal Cord Cancer
  • Medical Treatment of Brain & Spinal Cord Cancer

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Q&A by Dr. Pan

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