CNS Metastatic Disease

CNS Metastatic Disease

Circulating Brain Tumor Cells 

BiographyDr. Brian Nahed is a neurosurgeon who specializes in brain tumors (glioblastoma, gliomas (low grade and high grade gliomas), metastatic brain tumors, and meningiomas) as well as Spinal Disorders.

Born in New York, Dr. Nahed attended UCLA where he majored in Neuroscience, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He attended the Yale School of Medicine where he was awarded the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship. Dr. Nahed completed his internship and neurosurgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dr. Nahed completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Daniel Haber and Shyamala Maheswaran at the MGH Cancer Center.

Dr. Brian Nahed joined the MGH Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Tumor Center in 2011.  He is an assistant professor and teaching faculty member of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Brian Nahed's research focuses on developing a blood based test to diagnose and monitor brain tumors. In collaboration with Drs. Haber, Maheswaran, and Stott, Dr. Nahed's recently published the first evidence of circulating tumor cells in the blood patients with glioblastoma.  Dr. Nahed is actively enrolling patients into his translational clinical research study.  

Dr. Brian Nahed is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and serves on national committees forthe Tumor Section and Council State Neurological Societies. He serves as a neurotrauma consultant for the National Football League (NFL).



Dr. Brian Nahed's research focuses on identifying and analyzing circulating tumor cells in the blood of patients with brain cancer. Through a collaboration between bioengineers, molecular biologists and clinicians, a circulating tumor cell capture device was developed to capture and detect tumor cells from patients with cancer. Under the mentorship of Drs. Daniel Haber, Shyamala Maheswaran, and Mehmet Toner, they aim to harness this technology to genetically characterize tumor cells without needing an invasive biopsy, and determine responsiveness to targeted cancer drugs. It also offers the opportunity to study cancer stem cells or metastasic precursors, thought to be at the origin of cancer spread via the bloodstream, to define their molecular vulnerabilities and help design new therapies to prevent cancer metastasis.

Dr. Nahed's research was recently published in Cancer Discovery and he is active enrolling patients in his translational clinical research study. More information about his research lab can found at the the Nahed Brain Tumor Research Lab.



View my most recent publications at PubMed

88 peer-reviewed publications to date.  Please refer to the pubmed webste link for a complete list of the publications.

Dr. Brian Nahed's research project focuses on developing a blood based test to diagnose and monitor brain tumors.  More information about his research lab can be found at the Nahed Brain Tumor Research Lab Website.




MGH Physician Profile

Phone: 617-724-5805

Fax: 617-724-5806



Selected Publications

Brian V. Nahed, MD

Rapid Intraoperative Molecular Characterization of Glioma.

Shankar GM, Francis JM, Rinne ML, Ramkissoon SH, Huang FW, Venteicher AS, Akama-Garren EH, Kang YJ, Lelic N, Kim JC, Brown LE, Charbonneau SK, Golby AJ, Sekhar Pedamallu C, Hoang MP, Sullivan RJ, Cherniack AD, Garraway LA, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Reardon DA, Wen PY, Brastianos PK, Curry WT, Barker FG 2nd, Hahn WC, Nahed BV, Ligon KL, Louis DN, Cahill DP, Meyerson M.

JAMA Oncol. 2015 May 14. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.0917. [Epub ahead of print]




The Absence of Fever or Leukocytosis Does Not Exclude Infection Following Cranioplasty.

Girgis F, Walcott BP, Kwon CS, Sheth SA, Asaad W, Nahed BV, Eskandar EN, Coumans JV.

Can J Neurol Sci. 2015 Jul;42(4):255-9. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2015.46. Epub 2015 Jun 11.




Remote acute demyelination after focal proton radiation therapy for optic nerve meningioma.

Redjal N, Agarwalla PK, Dietrich J, Dinevski N, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Nahed BV, Loeffler JS.

J Clin Neurosci. 2015 Aug;22(8):1367-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2015.02.017. Epub 2015 Apr 27.




Sporadic hemangioblastomas are characterized by cryptic VHL inactivation.

Shankar GM, Taylor-Weiner A, Lelic N, Jones RT, Kim JC, Francis JM, Abedalthagafi M, Borges LF, Coumans JV, Curry WT, Nahed BV, Shin JH, Paek SH, Park SH, Stewart C, Lawrence MS, Cibulskis K, Thorner AR, Van Hummelen P, Stemmer-Rachamimov AO, Batchelor TT, Carter SL, Hoang MP, Santagata S, Louis DN, Barker FG, Meyerson M, Getz G, Brastianos PK, Cahill DP.

Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014 Dec 24;2:167. doi: 10.1186/s40478-014-0167-x.





Free PMC Article


Defensive medicine in neurosurgery: does state-level liability risk matter?

Smith TR, Habib A, Rosenow JM, Nahed BV, Babu MA, Cybulski G, Fessler R, Batjer HH, Heary RF.

Neurosurgery. 2015 Feb;76(2):105-13; discussion 113-4. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000576.




Brain tumor cells in circulation are enriched for mesenchymal gene expression.

Sullivan JP, Nahed BV, Madden MW, Oliveira SM, Springer S, Bhere D, Chi AS, Wakimoto H, Rothenberg SM, Sequist LV, Kapur R, Shah K, Iafrate AJ, Curry WT, Loeffler JS, Batchelor TT, Louis DN, Toner M, Maheswaran S, Haber DA.

Cancer Discov. 2014 Nov;4(11):1299-309. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-14-0471. Epub 2014 Aug 19.





Free PMC Article


Time interval to surgery and outcomes following the surgical treatment of acute traumatic subdural hematoma.

Walcott BP, Khanna A, Kwon CS, Phillips HW, Nahed BV, Coumans JV.

J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Dec;21(12):2107-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2014.05.016. Epub 2014 Jul 24.




Reversal of warfarin associated coagulopathy with 4-factor prothrombin complex concentrate in traumatic brain injury and intracranial hemorrhage.

Yanamadala V, Walcott BP, Fecci PE, Rozman P, Kumar JI, Nahed BV, Swearingen B.

J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Nov;21(11):1881-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2014.05.001. Epub 2014 Jun 18.




Single-cell RNA-seq highlights intratumoral heterogeneity in primary glioblastoma.

Patel AP, Tirosh I, Trombetta JJ, Shalek AK, Gillespie SM, Wakimoto H, Cahill DP, Nahed BV, Curry WT, Martuza RL, Louis DN, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Suvà ML, Regev A, Bernstein BE.

Science. 2014 Jun 20;344(6190):1396-401. doi: 10.1126/science.1254257. Epub 2014 Jun 12.





Free PMC Article


Giant thoracic osteophyte: a distinct clinical entity.

Coumans JV, Neal JB, Grottkau BE, Nahed BV, Shin JH, Walcott BP.

J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Sep;21(9):1599-602. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.12.027. Epub 2014 May 15.




Reconstructing and reprogramming the tumor-propagating potential of glioblastoma stem-like cells.

Suvà ML, Rheinbay E, Gillespie SM, Patel AP, Wakimoto H, Rabkin SD, Riggi N, Chi AS, Cahill DP, Nahed BV, Curry WT, Martuza RL, Rivera MN, Rossetti N, Kasif S, Beik S, Kadri S, Tirosh I, Wortman I, Shalek AK, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Regev A, Louis DN, Bernstein BE.

Cell. 2014 Apr 24;157(3):580-94. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.030. Epub 2014 Apr 10.





Free PMC Article


Low-grade gliomas.

Forst DA, Nahed BV, Loeffler JS, Batchelor TT.

Oncologist. 2014 Apr;19(4):403-13. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2013-0345. Epub 2014 Mar 24. Review.





Free PMC Article


Intracranial organizing hematoma with papillary endothelial hyperplasia features after resection and involved field radiotherapy for cerebellar juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma.

Ginat DT, Walcott BP, Mordes D, Schaefer PW, Nahed B.

Clin Imaging. 2014 May-Jun;38(3):322-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2013.12.003. Epub 2013 Dec 21.




The incidence of complications in elective cranial neurosurgery associated with dural closure material.

Walcott BP, Neal JB, Sheth SA, Kahle KT, Eskandar EN, Coumans JV, Nahed BV.

J Neurosurg. 2014 Jan;120(1):278-84. doi: 10.3171/2013.8.JNS13703. Epub 2013 Sep 13.




Radiation Treatment for WHO Grade II and III Meningiomas.

Walcott BP, Nahed BV, Brastianos PK, Loeffler JS.

Front Oncol. 2013 Sep 2;3:227. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00227. Review.





Free PMC Article


Retrievable stent thrombectomy in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke: analysis of a revolutionizing treatment technique.

Walcott BP, Boehm KM, Stapleton CJ, Mehta BP, Nahed BV, Ogilvy CS.

J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Oct;20(10):1346-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.03.015. Epub 2013 Aug 9. Review.





Free PMC Article


Surgical treatment options and management strategies of metastatic renal cell carcinoma to the lumbar spinal nerve roots.

Strong C, Yanamadala V, Khanna A, Walcott BP, Nahed BV, Borges LF, Coumans JV.

J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Nov;20(11):1546-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.02.014. Epub 2013 Aug 6.





Free PMC Article

View most recent publications at PubMed or selected copies below.



Brian V. Nahed, MD

Dr. Brian Nahed specializes in brain tumors and spinal disorders. As an attending neurosurgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he has appointments with the MGH Cancer Center, Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neurooncology and is a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Nahed's research focuses on circulating tumor cells and metastatic disease. In collaboration with Drs. Shannon Stott, Daniel Haber and Shyamala Maheswaran, Dr. Nahed's research has received several grants supporting his laboratory effort at the MGH Cancer Center. 



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Fax: 617-724-5806

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