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Cancer From A to Z with Dr. Rosalyn Morrell

Nov 29, 2022

Brain tumors don't get the same amount of attention as the other types of cancers. But they are still very important to talk about. My guest today is Dr. Daniel F. Kelly, a neurosurgeon and founder of Pacific Neuroscience Institute.

Listen in to learn about Daniel's non-linear path to becoming a neurosurgeon. You'll also hear how the Pacific Neuroscience Institute uses keyhole surgery to reduce the amount of time patients need to stay in the hospital.


What You'll Learn:

  • We learn about Dr. Daniel F. Kelly and his background. (2:00)
  • Daniel explains his non-linear path to becoming a neurosurgeon. (3:40)
  • I recount some of my experiences with neurosurgeons.  (5:30)
  • Seeing a gap in specialized neuro-oncology at St. John's Cancer Institute, Daniel helped found the Pacific Neuroscience Institute.  (6:00)
  • Daniel describes the types of tumors he sees most and how that's changed over time. (8:15)
  • We hear how Daniel got interested in pituitary tumors. (10:20)
  • Pacific Neuroscience Institute uses a lot of collaboration to give the patient the best care (13:05)
  • We hear how patients' pathways may differ when treated by Daniel. (14:26)
  • Not every brain tumor patient requires surgery. (17:20)
  • The essence of keyhole surgery is to sneak in and sneak out. (18:36)
  • Daniel explains how surgery has evolved throughout his career. (21:30)
  • Not every neurosurgeon specializes in keyhole surgery. (22:00)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic reduced the amount of time neuro-patients stayed in hospitals post surgery. (24:30)
  • Neuro-patients are incredibly brave and resilient. (27:16)
  • Daniel explains how he collaborates with different specialists. (30:00)
  • There are some exciting advances happening in neurosurgery. (32:00)
  • Pacific Neuroscience Institute is looking for a cure for Glioblastoma. (35:05)
  • Psychedelic assisted therapy is currently having a renaissance. (36:30)
  • Daniel describes various studies on psychedelic assisted therapy. (39:14)
  • We discuss the Netflix show 'How to Change Your Mind'. (44:00)


Ideas worth sharing:

"Not everyone who has a brain tumor needs surgery." - Dr. Daniel F. Kelly


"The essence of Keyhole Surgery is to sneak in and sneak out with minimum collateral damage." - Dr. Daniel F. Kelly


"Managing patient expectations is important for all areas of oncology." - Dr. Rosalyn Morrell


"All of my patients teach me so much. We think we're teaching them and educating them -- but a lot of times it's the other way around." - Dr. Rosalyn Morrell



  • Dr. June Wiley: USC
  • Pacific Neuroscience Institute: Website
  • Dr. Daniel F. Kelly: Email