Margaret O. Johnson DCGS Profile

Margaret Johnson

What is your specific area of interest in Geriatric Surgery?

As a neuro-oncologist, I understand that good surgical outcomes are essential to improving survival and quality of life for patients with primary tumors of the brain and spine.  I am interested in learning how to best tailor ongoing cancer-directed therapies, including the role of surgery, in older populations. The ultimate goal is to not only improve survival, but also a patient’s quality of life.

What is an example of your best work in geriatric research?

During neuro-oncology fellowship, I started with some basic retrospective work in older patients with glioblastoma (GBM) by identifying prognostic indicators of survival. It became clear that the extent of surgery, age, and a patient’s performance status were the best predictors of survival. However, these are fairly crude measures. Now, on faculty at Duke, I am currently looking into the feasibility of identifying more subtle clinical features using a prospective geriatric screening tool.  In addition, I am investigating the genomic landscape of GBM in older populations with the hope of identifying features that allow therapies (including clinical trials) to be better tailored to older patient populations. 

In your opinion, what is an important health services research question that needs to be answered in the field of Geriatric Surgery?

How do we convey to patients what we “can do” versus what we “should do” in a way that reflects a patient’s goals and values, while pushing the field of cancer-directed therapy forward in older populations?

What are your most relevant geriatric surgery publications?

  • Shen E, Johnson MO, Lee JW, Lipp ES, Randazzo DM, Desjardins A, McLendon RE, Friedman HS, Ashley DM, Kirkpatrick JP, Peters KB, Walsh KM.  Performance of a nomogram for IDH-wild-type glioblastoma patient survival in an elderly cohort. Neurooncol Adv. 2019 Dec 20;1(1):vdz036. PMCID: PMC7212897.
  • Johnson M, Kirkpatrick J, Weant M, Vaslow Z, Lipp E, Herndon J, McSherry F, Desjardins A, Randazzo D, Friedman H, Ashley D, Peters K. Treatment Patterns, Outcomes, and Prognostic Indicators in Elderly Patients with Glioblastoma: A Retrospective Single Institution Analysis.] Abstracts from the 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting and Education Day of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, November 15-18, 2018, New Orleans, LA. In Neuro-Oncol., 20 (Suppl. 6; abstr. HOUT-19):vi117, 2018.
  • Lee JW, Johnson MO, Kirkpatrick JP, McSherry F, Herndon J, Lipp E, Desjardins A, Randazzo D, Friedman HS, Ashley D, Peters KB. Outcomes following adjuvant radiation therapy in elderly patients with glioblastoma: a retrospective single institution analysis. Proceedings of the American Society for Radiation Oncology 61st Annual Meeting, September 15-18, 2019, Chicago, IL, In Int J Radiat Oncol Bio Phys. 105(Issue 1, Suppl.):E102, 2019.
  • Johnson M, Ramirez L, Herndon J, Massey W, Lipp E, Affronti M, Kim J-Y, Friedman H, Desjardins A, Randazzo D, Ashley D, Casarett D, Peters K.  A time-based model of early palliative care intervention in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, a single institution feasibility study.  24th Annual Scientific Meeting and Education Day of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, November 22-24, 2019, Phoenix, A.Z.  Neuro-Oncol., 21(suppl 6; abstr QOLP-18):vi201, 2019.

What is a fun fact about you?

I lived in Bolivia in my early 20s.