About Jorg Dietrich, MD, PhD

Jorg Dietrich,  MD PhD MBA MMSc FAAN, is the Director of the Cancer & Neurotoxicity Clinic and Brain Repair Research Program at the MGH Cancer Center, and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. His clinical interests are the management of patients with brain tumors and neurologic complications of cancer therapy. His research activities include clinical, translational and basic research in the fields of brain tumor biology, neurotoxicity and brain repair mechanisms. He is author of over 100 publications, including original research articles, review papers, book chapters and other scientific contributions. His work has been supported by the NIH, the American Cancer Society, and the American Academy of Neurology.

Clinical Interests:




Mass General Neurology
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 855-644-6387

Mass General Cancer Center: Neuro-Oncology
55 Fruit St.
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-5130

Medical Education

  • MD, University of Giessen
  • Residency, Brigham and Women/MGH/BIDMC Hospital
  • Residency, University of Regensburg Medical School
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, University of Rochester Medical Center***
  • Fellowship, University of Utah Hospitals

American Board Certifications

  • Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Neuro-Oncology, United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties

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My main research focus has been the study of neural precursor cell biology in the context of neurological disease. Our work has shown that abnormal progenitor and stem cell function is underlying diverse neurological diseases, including leukodystrophies, viral infections, brain cancer and neurotoxicity following cancer therapy. Abnormal neural progenitor cell function has also tremendous implications for our understanding of conditions with chronic and progressive neurological impairment, such as neurodegenerative diseases.

An important area of our current investigation is the study of the cell-biological basis of neurotoxicity following cancer treatment. We were able to demonstrate that lineage-committed progenitor cells belong to the most sensitive cell populations to chemotherapy. These studies have provided the foundation for the development of neuroprotective and cellular repair strategies that are currently being assessed for their application in clinical trials.

Another focus of our current research studies is the characterization of the neurovascular niche. Neurogenesis and gliogenesis, the generation of new neurons and glia cells, occur in well-defined 'niches' composed of neural stem cells, progenitors, astrocytes, and vascular components. The neurovascular niche is therefore characterized by a intersection between neuroectodermal and mesenchymal cell system. The neurovascular niche is critically important in the formation of brain tumors, in treatment resistance and in tumor progression. Our studies aim to provide novel insights into the unique interplay between mesenchymal and neuroectodermal tissues and to identify novel therapeutic targets for tumor therapy and novel strategies to enhance endogenous brain repair.


  • (Selected)

    • Frigault MJ et al. Tisagenlecleucel CAR-T cell therapy in secondary CNS lymphoma. Blood, 2019
    • Karschnia P et al. Clinical presentation, management, and potential biomarkers of neurotoxicity after CAR-T cells. Blood, 2019
    • Winter SF et al. Treatment-induced brain tissue necrosis: a clinical challenge. Neuro-Oncology, 2019
    • Karschnia P et al. Pharmacologic management of cognitive impairment induced by cancer therapy. Lancet Oncology, 2019
    • Dietrich J et al., Bone marrow drives central nervous system regeneration after radiation injury. J Clin Invest, 2018
    • Herlopian A et al., EEG findings in CAR-T cell therapy related encephalopathy. Neurology, 2018
    • Prust M et al. Standard chemoradiation in combination with VEGF targeted therapy for glioblastoma results in progressive gray and white matter volume loss. Neuro-Oncology, 2018
    • Dietrich J et al. Neuroimaging in brain tumor patients: Pseudoprogression, pseudoresponse and delayed effects of radiation therapy. Seminars in Neurology, 2017
    • Vaios EJ et al. Bone marrow response as a potential biomarker of outcomes in glioblastoma. J Neurosurg, 2016
    • Prust MJ et al. Standard Chemotherapy for glioblastoma results in progressive brain volume loss. Neurology, 2015
    • Tanaka S et al. Diagnostic and therapeutic avenues for glioblastoma: no longer a dead end? Nature Rev Clin Oncology, 2013
    • Dietrich J et al. Mechanisms of Disease: Neural Stem Cells and Gliomas. Nature Clin Pract Oncol, 2008
    • Dietrich J et al. EIF2B5 mutations compromise generation of GFAP+ astrocytes from neural precursors in Vanishing White Matter leukodystrophy. Nature Medicine, 2005

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