~ Christopher Duma, MD, FACS

Dr. Duma is a Board certified neurosurgeon specialist in surgical brain tumor management, Gamma Knife and Cyberknife radiosurgery, and the surgical treatment of movement disorders like Parkinson's disease. He is also the first neurosurgeon in the US to implant stem cells into the human brain for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS.
He serves as Medical Director of the Brain Tumor Program at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Hospital in Newport Beach, CA, where he has perfected techniques for both open, general brain surgery and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. With nearly 27 years of neurosurgery experience to his credit, Dr. Duma is uniquely qualified to offer an unbiased and very modern opinion on how any brain pathology should be managed.

He is also Founder and CEO, The Music-Heals Project (formerly FNSR), Founder and Chairman of the Board, DatCard Systems, Inc., and an Affiliate of the Cell Surgical Network.

Dr. Duma is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He received his general neurosurgical training at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, followed by a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Presbyterian Hospital in Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. He has been involved in medical research since his undergraduate years, beginning at Cornell University School of Medicine's Department of Neuropharmacology and his graduate years at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Department of Neurology Pain Service.

An accumulation of medical experience has earned him the distinction of being one of Southern California's most sought-after adult brain tumor surgeons. He has been a leader in craniotomies for brain tumors—having performed the most Gamma Knife Radiosurgery procedures and surgeries for Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders in the region—for nearly two decades. Dr. Duma has performed Gamma Knife treatments since 1990, and Cyberknife treatments since 2002—treating approximately 250 patients using Gamma Knife or Cyberknife technology each year. He specializes in open surgical management of brain tumors, performing 100-150 craniotomies for tumor per year, and depending on the patient's pathology, their adjunctive treatment with immunotherapy. He was also the neurosurgical consultant for 5 years for the neurosurgeon character in the television series &ld Chicago Hope."

Dr. Duma is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at University of California at Irvine, School of Medicine and serves as Director of Radiosurgery Division of the Department of Neurosurgery residency training at University of California Irvine Medical Center. His affiliations include South Coast Medical Center in Laguna Beach and UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, CA.

When not practicing medicine, Dr. Duma enjoys spending time with his family. He is a classically trained pianist, enjoys boating, playing golf and performing in his rock band as their keyboardist. Archery and handgun marksmanship are also on his list of hobbies. He has been on the Boards of The Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Datcard Systems, Inc. and his own philanthropy, The Music-Heals Project. He has served as a mentor at Newport Harbor High School's Da Vinci program for 11 years, bringing students into the operating room to watch brain surgery.

Dr. Duma was a speaker at the Select Biosciences Meeting in San Diego, CA November 9-10, 2015.

His presentation title:

The First United States Experience with Autologous Intraventricular SVF for Neurodegenerative Disorders: First Year Results of a Phase 1 trial in 18 Patients .


Prior to this work, there has been no experience in the United States injecting autologous SVF directly into the human brain. Potential risks and benefits have been unknown. We present our first year results in 18 patients treated with intraventricular SVF.


IRB approved protocols were granted, after animal experimentation, to study the effectiveness and safety for the intracranial, intraventricular injection of autologous stromal vascular fraction (SVF) for Alzheimer's Disease (AD), Parkinson's-like syndromes, ALS, Primary and Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PP and SPMS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Stroke. Injections were performed via Ommaya reservoir or via existing ventriculo-peritoneal shunt in 18 patients over 1 year. Four patients had ALS, 5 had Parkinson's variations, 4 had dementias, 1 had TBI and 4 had either primary or secondary progressive MS. Volume of SVF injected ranged from 4cc to 11cc. Stem cell counts varied from 2-9 million cells. Patients received 1 to 6 injections over a period of one year.


Initial (first 18 patients) safety studies have demonstrated good safety profiles for the procedure required to harvest and deploy the SVF. No cases of infection, hydrocephalus, meningismus, stroke, seizures, or other complication was associated with the injections. Three patients had mild fever within the first 3 days post injection, which resolved spontaneously. A secondary endpoint of clinical improvement was studied. Five patients showed improvement, 4 with significant improvement. Most impressive improvement was seen in AD and PPMS in patients who received more than 4 injections.


While double-blind studies are the hallmark of true scientific proof, empirical data should not be ignored as it sets up the basis for further studies. Our patients had no complications from injection, and a phase 3 study for efficacy is pending. The best results were seen in AD and MS, and in patients with multiple injections.

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