The profound impacts of patients

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Jeffrey Greenfield, M.D., Ph.D., was included in a feature on about how patients can impact their doctors. Read the full story here.

Jeffrey Greenfield, M.D. Having to tell the parents — during the holidays — that their beautiful 19-year-old daughter had an inoperable brain tumor was one of the toughest things Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, of Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, has ever had to do. The teenager's condition, gliomatosis cerebri (GC), invades the brain in such a way that the tumor cannot be removed surgically. Chemotherapy and radiation don’t work against it and, because of its rarity, little funding is available for research.

Greenfield didn’t expect the remarkable young woman, Elizabeth Minter, to react the way she did. Knowing her death was imminent, she decided to create hope for others.

Now, five years later, the project has a growing laboratory. Every tumor gets sequenced for research and the group is publishing its findings so that other researchers can advance the science.

“Elizabeth’s unselfish determination to create hope changed my own life, professionally and personally,” Greenfield told LifeZette. “I learned there’s always hope. More importantly, she changed the lives of future children and teens diagnosed with GC. Someday, I’ll tell a patient and her family that the diagnosis is GC —  but, thanks to Elizabeth, there is a cure.”