Gynecologic Oncology: Highlights

Surgery. Dr. Pearl performs all surgical procedures, including radical pelvic and exenterative, gastrointestinal, urological, and reconstructive plastic surgery for management of preinvasive and invasive gynecologic diseases, as well as selected complicated gynecologic disorders.  In 2010, Dr. Pearl performed 293 surgicalprocedures—218 major and 75 minor.In preparation for surgery, patients andfamilies receive a packet of educationalmaterials. A library of books andvideotapes is also available.

Chemotherapy. The Division of Gynecologic Oncology has extensive experience administering intravenous, oral, and intraperitoneal chemotherapy. In 2010, the Division administered 400 chemotherapy cycles. The multidisciplinary team includes physicians, a clinical pharmacist, a physician assistant, and chemotherapy-certified nurses.

Radiation. The Gynecologic Oncology Management Team works closely with the Department of Radiation Oncology to develop treatment plans and place brachytherapy devices.

Research. The members of the Division conduct clinical and basic science research. Dr. Pearl is the principal investigator for the Gynecologic Oncology Group, a national research organization funded by the National Institutes of Health to provide patients with access to cutting-edge therapy. At any given time, approximately 25 chemotherapy trials are available for women with a variety of gynecologic cancers. In 2010, 55 patients were enrolled in Gynecologic Oncology Group protocols.

The Division of Gynecologic Oncology also works on collaborative projects with scientists in several departments. With Dr. Wen-Tien Chen in the Division of Medical Oncology, researchers are developing a method for isolating viable ovarian cancer cells from blood and ascites and to identify early carcinoma antigens in patients with ovarian cancer using DNA microassay techniques.

With Dr. Margaret McNurlan in the Department of Surgery, researchers are investigating the role of inflammation in the metabolic dysfunction associated with obesity and, particularly, in the development of endometrial cancer. In 2010, nearly 50 patients were enrolled in intramural studies and 118 patients were entered into the Tumor Bank.

Education. The Division of Gynecologic Oncology provides didactic and clinical education for medical students, resident physicians, nurses, and physician assistant students in the Hospital and ambulatory settings. By participating in local, regional, national, and international Grand Rounds, the members of the Division provide continuing medical education (CME) for physicians in many specialties. They also provide valuable information to the community on prevention, diagnosis, and management of gynecologic cancers through a range of support groups and lecture series.