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John Henson, MD - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

John Henson, MD

Professor of Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Pediatrics | Augusta University


Dr. Henson practices neuro-oncology in the MCG Brain Tumor Program and manages patients with neurofibromatosis and related genetic disorders






Georgia CEO Network - Dr.  John Henson on how he is building the Cancer Center's brain tumor program A Cancer Conversation - Brain Cancer Georgia CEO Network - Dr. John Henson discusses Cancer Center's Hereditary Cancer Clinic program Familial Genetic Issues in Neuro Oncology - John Henson, M.D.



Dr. Henson practices neuro-oncology in the MCG Brain Tumor Program and manages patients with neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, von Hippel-Lindau and related genetic disorders in the MCG Neurofibromatosis Clinic. He has a broad clinical interest in hereditary cancer risk analysis and risk reduction and started the Hereditary Cancer Clinic at the Georgia Cancer Center. Dr. Henson trained in neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and in neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was director of the MGH Brain Tumor Center in Boston for many years, and also served as Chief of Oncology Services for Piedmont Healthcare, based in Atlanta. Dr. Henson studied genomic cancer risk assessment with Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel at City of Hope. Most recently he was medical director of the Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment and Swedish Neurofibromatosis Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. He is coauthor of the textbook Diagnosis and Management of Hereditary Cancer and has published over 150 papers, reviews, and books chapters.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Brain Tumors

Spine Tumors



Hereditary Cancer


Accomplishments (5)

Today’s Innovators Award, Georgia CORE (Center for Oncology Research and Education)


Top Doc, Castle Connolly

2022 - 2023

Service Award, American College of Healthcare Executives


Top Docs Honoree, Atlanta Magazine

2017 - 2018

Regent’s Award, American College of Healthcare Senior-Level Healthcare Leadership Executives


Education (3)

University of Washington: MBA, Business Administrations, Management and Operatations 2013

Loma Linda University: M.D., Medicine 1984

Southern Adventist University: B.A., Biology/Biological Sciences, General 1980

Affiliations (10)

  • American Academy of Neurology : Member
  • American College of Healthcare Executive : Member
  • American Neurological Association : Member
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology : Member
  • American Society of Human Genetics : Member
  • Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives : Member, 2015 - 2019
  • Northwest Science Writers Association : Member
  • Society for Neuro-oncology : Member
  • Washington State Medical Association : Member, 2009- 2015
  • Washington State Neurological Society : Member, 2008 - 2015

Articles (5)

Associations of practical, emotional, and physical problems with psychosocial distress among cancer patients

Journal of Psychosocial Oncology

2022 Objective: To better understand the relationship between cancer patient distress and psychosocial variables, including problem types, to improve ability to predict and address psychosocial need. Methods: A variation of National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Distress Thermometer (DT) was administered and collected at four sites from an Integrated Network Cancer Program (INCP). The presence of moderate/severe distress was examined relative to patient demographics, disease characteristics, and psychosocial problems. [...]

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Impact of neurofibromatosis type 1 in an adult community population

Neuro-Oncology Practice

2022 Background: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common tumor predisposition syndrome with varying manifestations and severity. Adult NF1 patients often experience fragmented care, so we sought to characterize the health and demographic features of a community-based population of adults with NF1 and hypothesized that lack of a specialty clinic for adult NF1 patients correlates with unmet needs. [...]

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Paired Tumor-Germline Testing as a Driver in Better Cancer Care

JAMA Network Open

2022 Yap et al provide an analysis of paired tumor-germline next-generation sequencing (NGS) in a large population of patients with cancer. One implication of the data is that paired testing provides important information about a patient’s cancer and its treatment and can address hereditary issues of importance to the patient’s family. This commentary considers the advantages of paired tumor-germline testing in cancer care.

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Adult pilocytic astrocytoma in the molecular era: a comprehensive review

CNS Oncology

2021 Adult pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is less prevalent than pediatric PA and is associated with a worse prognosis. In a literature review, we found that 88.3% of the molecular alterations in adult PA are associated with MAPK pathway dysregulation. The most common alterations are fusions of BRAF. Understanding of the mechanisms underlying this pathway has evolved substantially, heralding advancements in specific targeted therapy. Here, we review clinical and molecular features of adult PA, characteristics predicting aggressive behavior and approaches to standard and investigational therapies. We highlight epigenetic profiling and integrated diagnosis as an essential component of classifying PA.

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Cortical T2-hyperintense lesions as the initial MRI finding in glioblastoma

Interdisciplinary Neurosurgery

2021 Early MRI findings in GBM can include ill-defined T2-hyperinsities throughout grey and white matter, often with enhancement. Outside of animal models and a single prior case series, little has been reported on GBM manifesting within cortex. We report a series of three patients in whom GBM initially presented with early cortical findings, indicating that grey matter lesions can be the first detectable radiographic feature in a subset of patients. New-onset seizures may present with similar cortical ribbon changes, creating a diagnostic challenge as illustrated by two of our reported cases who initially presented with seizures and cortical abnormalities. Our series highlights the imperative for short interval imaging follow-up in such patients and indicates the need to consider suspicious cortical lesions when planning the radiation treatment field.

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