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Brian V. Nahed, MD, MSc

  • Neurosurgical Oncology
  • Neurosurgical Spinal Disorders
  • MGH Brain Tumor Center / Pappas Center for Neuroonocology


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Dr. Brian Nahed is a neurosurgeon who specializes in Brain Tumors (Glioblastoma, Gliomas, Meningiomas, Metastatic Brain Tumors) and Spinal Disorders. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Pappas Center for Neurooncology.



Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

  • Neuro-Oncology (Brain)
Clinical Interests
  • Brain tumors
  • Glioblastoma
  • Meningiomas
  • Metastatic Cancer of the brain (from melanoma, lung, etc)
  • Awake and Language Mapping Craniotomy
  • Spine Surgery: disc excision, laminectomy, fusions
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Spinal Tumor (Primary and Metastatic)
  • Cervical and lumbar disc degeneration
  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
Medical Education
  • MSC, Harvard School of Public Health
  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, New England Baptist Hospital
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Brian Nahed is a neurosurgeon who specializes in brain tumors (glioblastoma, gliomas (low grade and high grade), metastatic brain tumors, and meningiomas) as well as Spinal Disorders. Dr. Nahed's clinic interest focus on tumors of the eloquent cortex requiring awake surgery, language and motor mapping, and subcortical stimulation. 

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

Dr. Brian Nahed was recruited to the MGH Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Tumor Center in 2011.  As an assistant professor of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Brian Nahed's research focuses on developing the first blood based test to diagnose and monitor brain tumors. In collaboration with Drs. Haber, Maheswaran, and Stott, Dr. Nahed 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 an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the Joint section on Tumors. In addition, he serves as chairman of the education and communication committee for the Council State Neurological Societies. Dr. Nahed also is a member of the Joint Section on Tumors for the CNS/AANS. Dr. Nahed is focused on education and socioeconomic issues in neurosurgery and training. He also serves as a neurotrauma consultant for the National Football League (NFL).

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

View my most recent research

Circulating Brain Tumor Cells and Blood Based Biomarkers for Brain Tumors

Dr. Brian Nahed's research recently identified the first evidence of tumor cells in the blood of patients with brain tumors - a landmark finding which changes our understanding of brain tumors and the blood. Dr. Brian Nahed and his colleagues developed the first device which they used to identify, capture, and analyze 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 has joined Dr. Shannon Stott to develop the first clinical tool to identify and monitor brain tumor patients using a blood test - expanding on their individual work on circulating tumor cells and exosomes.

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

Dr. Brian Nahed has authored 97 publications in peer-reviewed journals and several book chapters and blogs.
Please refer to pubmed 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 Brian Nahed Brain Tumor Research Lab Website.

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Pappas Center for Neuro Oncology
55 Fruit Street
Yawkey 9E
Boston MA, 02114
Phone 1: 617-724-5805
Fax: 617-724-5806
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