PNA Spotlight: Dr. Justin Cetas
This month the PNA potlight shines on Dr. Justin Cetas, a neurosurgeon at Oregon Health and Science University. He serves as Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery in the Division of Skull Base and Cerebrovascular in the School of Medicine. He is also Residency Program Director in Neurological Surgery in the School of Medicine. Dr. Cetas earned his B.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He earned his Ph.D., and M.D. from the University of Arizona in Tuscon. He did his residency in neurological surgery and a fellowship in skull base surgery at Oregon Health & Science University. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Cetas answered some questions from the PNA. Here are his answers.
What inspired you to choose your career path?
I was drawn to Neurosurgery for what I believe are all the usual reasons: fascination with the nervous system and its many nuanced diseases, a deep appreciation for the beautiful and complex anatomy, a desire to care for patients with neurological disease through the entire process from diagnosis through treatment and into recovery, and lastly an attraction or perhaps a compulsion toward procedural-based treatments. I eventually ended up as a skull base surgeon focused on pituitary tumors because this specialty most strongly embodied the reasons I chose neurosurgery in the first place.
What is the primary focus of your work/research?
My primary area of focus is on skull base tumors and open vascular neurosurgery with an emphasis on pituitary tumors. I have an active research program looking at delayed cerebral ischemia, a poorly understood condition that can worsen outcomes after subarachnoid hemorrhages (a form of hemorrhagic) or pituitary surgery. In addition, I am involved in numerous trials evaluating novel medical therapeutics for Cushing’s disease and acromegaly. We also have a large patient registry and actively publish our clinical data.
What do you consider to be the future of your field?
The future I believe will be, as has been stated for many areas of medicine, personalized or individualized treatments. Each patient is unique with an individual immune system, underlying physiology, and systemic response to the tumor. In addition, each tumor has its own behavior and susceptibility to interventions. That is to say, as we get better and characterize the specifics of both the patient and the patient’s tumor we will be able to better tailor treatments to each patient and achieve better outcomes. Advances in surgical technology such as improved pre- and intraoperative imaging will support this, as will new medications aimed at novel biochemical targets.
What should patients know about your field/what deserves more recognition/awareness?
Pituitary and skull base tumors can be challenging to treat. While benign and often cured, others can cause considerable emotional and physiological harm and require long-term multidisciplinary care. However, that multidisciplinary care is continually improving and is bet delivered at larger active centers.
What would you like to convey about yourself to your patients?
I am firmly committed to a team approach to pituitary disease. I believe that multidisciplinary care provides the best most individualized treatment of pituitary tumors. I am passionate about my specialty and practice.
Why did you get involved with the PNA and what is the extent of your involvement?
I am new to the Pituitary Network Association. I decided to join the PNA because it brings together diverse people with shared interests centered on Pituitary disease.