Mr Thomas Santarius, MD PhD FRCS(SN)
Mr Thomas Santarius, known by his colleagues and patients simply as Tom, is a consultant neurosurgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the main hospital of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust. He specialises in brain tumour surgery, both in adults and in children. His clinical and teaching efforts are focused on perfecting surgical techniques, while his research aims to better understand the biology of brain tumours.
Tom has completed his neurosurgical training in Cambridge gaining additional sub-specialist experience in other neurosurgery centres, including The Brigham and Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Boston, USA; The Great Ormond Hospital for Sick Children in London; University of Montpellier Hospitals and the Medical Center of the University of California in San Francisco. He believes that there is always something to learn from other surgeons and Tom regularly visits leading centres around the world.
Tom believes that ultimately we will be able to control brain tumours in a similar way in which we know we can control infection. We now know that tumours arise as a result of mutations in the DNA, hence the key to controlling the tumours is an understanding of their biology. To be able contribute to these efforts, Tom underwent training in molecular genetics of cancer at Harvard University in Boston, USA and the Sanger Institute (PhD in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge) and carries out an active research in cancer genetics. He described aspects of genomic amplifications at DNA sequence level, classified genomic amplifications in human cancer, described a novel human amplified cancer gene GLO1 and contributed to recent discovery of novel meningioma genes and co-led the first comprehensive study of genetics of anaplastic meningiomas. To improve the productivity of research and overall care of patients with meningiomas in the UK, Tom has co-founded British-Irish Meningioma Society (BIMS) and works as a member of Meningioma and Metastasis Clinical Study Group of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI).
In 2005 together with Mr Ramez Kirollos and Professor Guilherme Ribas, he co-founded Cambridge Lectures in Neurosurgical Anatomy. This course uses 3D images and videos of cadaveric dissections and as well as neurosurgical operations to promote perfection of surgical techniques through in-depth understanding of surgical anatomy. Tom also serves as a faculty on a number of national and international neurosurgical courses focused on anatomy and neurosurgical techniques. Tom is at Affiliated Lecturer in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience of the University of Cambridge.
Tom’s clinical practice focuses on surgical treatment of brain tumours in children and adults, those arising in and around brain, brainstem, cerebellum, ventricles, pituitary and pineal region. He commonly treats patients with meningioma and pituitary adenoma. He has expertise in glioma surgery utilising intraoperative electrophysiological mapping and monitoring (cortical and subcortical mapping and monitoring) in awake and anaesthetised patients. A comprehensive list of brain tumours can be found here.
Tom is married with two boys.
An updated list of Tom’s publications can be found at the PubMed (US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health) website.