Dr. Richard Curry is Catalyst for New Neuro-Oncology Clinics

Share

In his new clinics, Dr. Richard Curry, above, is helping patients who suffer neurologic side-effects of cancer.

Richard Curry, MD, was a medical resident when he realized he had a mind for neurology and a heart for people who had cancer. That duality of thought and feeling led him to pursue a unique fellowship, one that wedded neurology and oncology. More recently, Dr. Curry’s hybrid training has led to the establishment of two new clinics at the UC Neuroscience Institute and the UC Cancer Institute, two of the four institutes of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health.

The two new clinics are:

  • A Neuro-Oncology Clinic for patients with primary or metastatic brain cancer
  • A Neurological Complications of Cancer Clinic for patients with all types of cancer who are suffering neurological side-effects

Dr. Curry, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and an Assistant Professor of Neurology, is seeing patients in these clinics at the Barrett Center at the UC Medical Center. He is seeing patients with primary and metastatic brain cancer on Wednesdays (1-4:30 p.m.), and he is seeing patients with all other types of cancer who are experiencing neurologic symptoms on Thursdays (8 a.m.-12 p.m.).

Dr. Curry notes that of all patients who develop cancer, 15 percent will develop neurologic complications, many of which are treatable. Those complications include:

  • headaches
  • seizures
  • stroke
  • neuropathy
  • spasticity
  • increased intracranial pressure
  • leptomeningial disease, which occurs when cancer cells spread to the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord

In his Neuro-Oncology Clinic, Dr. Curry is evaluating and treating two groups of patients: those whose tumors started in the brain and those whose cancer started elsewhere in the body and has metastasized to the brain. “An important focus of this Neuro-Oncology Clinic involves offering early-phase clinical trials to patients with all types of brain tumors,” Dr. Curry says. “The clinic creates a unique opportunity by providing traditional medical oncology treatments for patients with complicated neurologic disease.”

Through the Neurological Complications of Cancer Clinic, Dr. Curry will work closely with patients and their oncologists to develop or fine-tune a treatment plan that takes neurological side-effects into account.

He will spend the rest of his time seeing patients at the UC Medical Center and in his neurology practice, which covers conditions ranging from cerebrovascular disease (stroke) to multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Curry, a graduate of Miami University and the University of Toledo College of Medicine, developed his hybrid approach to cancer and the brain during his neurology residency at UC. A two-month rotation in hematology/oncology awakened him to the rewards of working with cancer patients and their families. And as his residency training continued, his understanding of “the overlap between neurology and cancer” gained clarity and began to crystallize as a vision for his future.

While working with Ronald Warnick, MD, Medical Director of the UC Brain Tumor Center, and the center’s radiation oncologists, Dr. Curry determined that he might be able to develop a special niche at the intersection of neurology and cancer, and he began to investigate fellowships that offered training in that specialized area. Dr. Curry found the fellowship he was looking for at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Dr. Curry says he has been drawn to people with cancer because they share an outlook that is informed by the urgency of their disease.  “They are the most loving patients that you could have,” Dr. Curry says. “They appreciate everything, anything, that you can offer them.

“Usually, in my experience, the patient is the strongest person within his or her family. I’ve always found it inspiring to have patients like that. My patients are one of the main reasons why I enjoy coming to work in the morning.

“It’s refreshing to see patients in my clinic with all kinds of cancer and to be able to say, ‘This is the plan that we designed, and together, we are seeing results.”

This entry was posted in UC Gardner Neuroscience Blog and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Print This Page
  • Make an Appointment: Schedule Now
  • Sign up for our newsletter!
  • UCNI Weekly Blog
  • Hope Stories

    • Amy’s Story: A Battle With MS

      Amy's Story: A Battle With MSIn retrospect, multiple sclerosis had probably been stalking Amy for a long time. She had suffered from chronic headaches in high school, and her seasonal allergies had been over the top. Then, in her mid-30s, the busy wife and mother...
    • Jeff’s Story: Ruptured Aneurysm, Airway Reconstruction

      Jeff's Story: Ruptured Aneurysm, Airway Reconstruction Jeff’s remarkable story has two parts: recovery and reconstruction. He doesn’t remember the first part -- the recovery from a ruptured aneurysm. But he vividly remembers the second part -- the reconstruction of his airway. He is living the followup to...
    • Sandra’s Story: Glioma

      Sandra's Story: Glioma Sandra (Sandy) is a smiling, breathing reminder that hope exists for patients with even the most challenging type of brain tumors. Nine years ago, when Sandy was first told that she had six months to live, she stared back blankly...
    • Renee’s Story: Stroke

      Renee's Story: Stroke When 33-year-old high energy mother Renee Young became ill with the flu in November 2007, the last thing she expected was she was about to suffer a stroke. But that was exactly what happened. As she tried to swallow medication...
    • Alison’s Story: Ruptured Aneurysm following Neurotrauma

      Alison's Story: Ruptured Aneurysm following Neurotrauma Step by hard-earned step, word by remembered word, Dr. Alison Delgado has recovered from a bicycle accident that nearly robbed her of her life. Dr. Delgado, who suffered serious physical and neurological injuries in the 2010 accident, is today a...
    • Courtney’s Story: Traumatic Spine Injury

      Courtney's Story: Traumatic Spine Injury Courtney is positive that she was wearing her seatbelt. Perhaps that is why her head and neck – thankfully -- were fine. Perhaps that is also why her midsection was so violently impacted, as the force of the rollover twisted...
    • Dick’s Story: Ischemic Stroke

      Dick's Story: Ischemic Stroke As a firefighter who attends regular EMS drills, Dick Koeniger was well versed in the signs and symptoms of stroke. While driving home with a friend one evening last June, he suddenly noticed that his peripheral vision was slightly impaired....
    • Lynne’s Story

      Lynne's StorySemiretired and working part-time at a restaurant, Lynne knew something was amiss when she looked at the cash register and then struggled to make her hands produce the correct amount of change. Could she have suffered a stroke? Lynne pushed the...
    • Adam’s Story: Post-accident Recovery

      Adam’s Story: Post-accident RecoveryAdam and two friends were tooling down the freeway on their motorcycles one fine Sunday last October when the accident occurred. Adam, who liked to feel the breeze on his shaved head, was not wearing a helmet. Changing lanes, he...
    • Amber’s Story: Ruptured Aneurysm

      Amber's Story: Ruptured Aneurysm The only visible sign of Amber Gray’s ordeal is the long slender scar that runs along her forearm. It is the area where a surgeon carefully removed her radial artery, which was needed to bypass a damaged artery in her...