Thomas C. Chen

Professor of Neurological Surgery
Thomas C. Chen, MD, PhD

Areas of treatment:

Primary Brain Tumor
Metastatic Brain Tumor
Glioblastoma Multiforme
Spinal Disc Herniation
Chronic Back Pain
Spinal Stenosis
Spine Tumor
Craniotomy for Mass Resection and Neuro-Oncology
Lumbar Fusion
Pedicle Screws


  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurosurgery - Spine


  • Department of Neurological Surgery
  • Department of Pathology


  • English
  • Taiwanese
best doctor

Thomas C. Chen, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurological Surgery

Practicing locations:

  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • USC Healthcare Center 4
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital

About this doctor:

Dr. Chen’s goal is to make USC Neuro-oncology the leader in innovative treatments for brain and spine tumors. As a result, emphasis is placed on translating new findings made in the laboratory to clinical trials. Laboratory efforts are directed toward research on endoplasmic reticulum stress, understanding glioblastoma endothelial cells, and development of novel anti-invasion therapies such as vicrostatin, a unique disintegrin made at USC, and noscopine. Technological advances that may be used in the treatment of brain or spine tumors are being developed, patented, and will soon be highlighted. Novel clinical trials currently available or soon to be available at USC include anti-EGFRviii vaccine therapy, IL-4-pseudomonas exotoxin for convection enhanced delivery, and anti-tenascin brachytherapy. Surgical therapy is based on the newest techniques in microdissection and image guidance using neuronavigational therapy, with a soon to be added intraoperative MRI scanner. Spine oncology is especially unique as Dr. Chen is one of the few fellowship trained spine surgeons focused on spine cancer. Decisions on therapy are made through tumor board via a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to neuro-oncology including neurosurgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuropathology, and neuro-radiology.


PhD, University of Southern California, 1996
Doctor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 1988


USC Department of Surgery, 1988 - 1989


University of Southern California, Neurosurgery, 1989 - 1995


Medical College of Wisconsin, Spine, 1996 - 1997


American Board of Neurological Surgery

Professional society memberships:

Congress of Neurological Surgeons
American Association of Neurological Surgery
American Association of Cancer Research
North American Spine Society
Society of Neuro-Oncology
American Society of Clinical Oncology


Southern California Super Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2015
Castle Connolly “Top Doctor,” 2015
Southern California Super Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2008
Best Doctors, 2008
America's Top Surgeons, 2007
America's Top Oncologists (Neuro-oncology), 2007
Associate Editor: Spine Journal, Journal of Neuro-Oncology
2011 list of America's Top Doctors, compiled by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.
Castle Connolly "Top Doctor,” 2015