Dr. Michael Salacz has been named the new director of neuro-oncology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Salacz, who also will serve as an associate professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, will help the Institute expand its multidisciplinary team of professionals in the care of patients and their families with brain and spinal cord tumors.
Salacz is a native of New Jersey and a commissioned officer in the Navy — a veteran of the first Gulf War. He completed his medical training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He joins the Institute from the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he served as division chief of neuro-oncology and director of the Brain and Spine Tumor Program.
“I am excited to join New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center to bring advances to the field of neuro-oncology,” he said. “I look forward to working with the team of physicians and scientists in the neuro-oncology program to continue the mission of improving outcomes for patients with brain and spinal tumors through improvements in diagnosis and treatment while providing patient-centered care, one patient at a time.”
Salacz completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati, followed by fellowships in medical oncology, palliative medicine and hematology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. With a passion for the care of patients with brain and spinal cord tumors, he pursued further fellowship training in neuro-oncology at Duke University in North Carolina.
Salacz is one of a select few fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians in neuro-oncology, medical oncology and internal medicine in the United States. He is a member of the Society of Neuro-Oncology and has published a variety of articles in peer reviewed journals focusing on topics such as glioblastoma treatment, clinical trials and palliative medicine.
Salacz also has additional training in alternative and holistic medicine approaches to brain cancer, and remains focused on the care of the whole patient and support of the family throughout the treatment journey.
The Neuro-Oncology Program specializes in the treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors including malignant gliomas (glioblastoma), nonmalignant gliomas and other primary tumors of the central nervous system.
The team of highly specialized experts from neurosurgery, radiation oncology, neuro-oncology, neuropsychology, neuropathology and rehabilitation medicine, among others, review cases in a formatted multidisciplinary approach.
With more than 15 years of experience in the treatment of patients with central nervous system tumors, Salacz also has a background in caring for patients with metastatic tumors of the brain and spinal cord, including leptomeningeal disease, as well as providing care for patients with central nervous system associated cancer syndromes.
Dr. Deborah Toppmeyer, the chief medical officer and chief of medical oncology at the institute, said Salacz is a perfect fit.
“Dr. Salacz enhances Rutgers Cancer Institute’s already extensive expertise and services in treating patients with neurological cancers,” she said. “We look forward to his leadership as we continue to deliver the best care and experience for our patients.”