Joseph Landolfi, a blue-collar kid from Tony Soprano’s North Jersey, has a challenging job. He is director of neuro-oncology at the JFK Brain Tumor Center in Edison, N.J. As such, he has to deliver a lot of bad news to patients.
“It’s not always an easy job … It’s not like it doesn’t affect you,” he told The Star-Ledger of Newark.
The Ledger did a lengthy profile of Landolfi Thursday, in part following him around as he made his rounds with patients. He is one of the most renowned brain tumor specialists in the New Jersey, according to the newspaper.
Landolfi’s specialty is glioblastomas, which The Ledger described as cancer of the glial, or gluey, supportive brain tissue. The Ledger described it as “the most frequently diagnosed form of brain cancer” and “the deadliest,” with a 4.7 percent survival rate.
In a sad anecdote, Landolfi recalled going to the funeral of a 3-year-old girl who had a cancerous tumor. He was so upset by seeing the family’s pain, he swore he would never to to another patient’s funeral and never has, according to The Ledger.
Landolfi describes the emotional challenges of dealing with many patients who will never live, and how he still tries to give them hope.
According to The Ledger, he treats 150 new brain tumor patients a year, and 15 die a year.