The Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers Gynecologic Oncology Program provides expert, compassionate care for patients with gynecologic cancers. Because gynecologic cancers can have a wide range of physical and emotional effects, we've assembled a team of experts from many disciplines to help you and your family to cope with cancer and its treatment.
Whether you have been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer or are at high risk of developing one, the specialists in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers Gynecologic Oncology Program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) are committed to providing the best and most personalized treatment options available, taking advantage of the full range of services of a top-ranked cancer hospital and research center.
Our physicians focus exclusively on the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers. As one of the world's leading centers for cancer treatment and research, we're able to offer diagnostic tests and therapies based on the most up-to-date scientific findings, including the latest clinical trials.
Our expertise covers all types and stages of gynecologic cancers, including:
As a patient you receive:
Our doctors and other caregivers will work closely with you and your family to develop a treatment plan suited to your situation.
When you first come to the center for an appointment, you will meet with specialists who will gather all the information necessary to define the nature of your disease and determine the best course of treatment.
As well as providing specialized medical care, we offer a range of supportive services, including nutritional counseling, emotional and spiritual support, financial advice, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture and massage.
Your treatment team may include members from four specialty areas:
Our surgeons perform more than 1,000 procedures each year, many involving advanced techniques that require specialized training. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center was the first center in New England to treat endometrial cancer using robotic-assisted surgery.
The work of our surgical oncologists is supported by the Familial Ovarian Cancer Center, which counsels women with a family history of gynecologic cancer; the New England Trophoblastic Disease Center, which treats patients who develop abnormal growths in the uterus; and the Pap Smear Evaluation Center, which specializes in diagnosing and treating cervical cancer.To learn more about many of the surgical procedures performed here, please visit the links below.Post-operative instructions following gynecologic oncology surgeryCervical cone biopsyDilation and curettageHysterectomy recoveryLaparoscopyLaser therapySupra pubic tubesVulvar cancer surgery
Your medical oncologist is a key member of your treatment team: a gynecologic cancer specialist who will work with other physicians, nurses, technicians, and counselors to ensure all aspects of your treatment are covered.
Your medical oncologist will discuss with you standards of care treatment and the possibility of clinical trials, as well as describe the latest in the scientific understanding of the biology of your cancer. You should feel free to ask your medical oncologist any questions you may have about your treatment plan.
We work closely with staff from the adult palliative care program to help patients manage pain and the side effects of cancer treatment.
As part of your treatment, you may receive radiation therapy, which involves precisely controlled beams of high-energy radiation that destroy cancer cells. This is often part of the treatment plan for endometrial (uterine) cancer, cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, and vaginal cancer.To learn more about many of the radiation therapy procedures performed here, please visit the links below.BrachytherapyIntensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)Interstitial brachytherapyTandem and ovoid brachytherapyVaginal cylinder brachytherapy
Your entire care team has extensive experience in caring for patients with gynecologic cancers. Our specialists work closely together and collaborate regularly to ensure that your care plan offers the best possible outcomes and that all your needs are met.
Ross S. Berkowitz, MDSarah Feldman, MD, MPHColleen M. Feltmate, MDDonald P. Goldstein, MDNeil S. Horowitz, MDMichael G. Muto, MD
Ursula A. Matulonis, MDSusana M. Campos, MD, MPHSuzanne Berlin, DOPanagiotis Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhDJoyce Liu, MD, MPHAlexi Wright, MD, MPH
Akila Viswanathan, MD, MPHLarissa Lee, MD
Christopher P. Crum, MD, Division DirectorBradley J. Quade, MDWilliam R. Welch, MDGeorge L. Mutter, MDFrederick R. Bieber, MDMarisa R. Nucci, MDMichelle S. Hirsch, MDKenneth Lee, MDEdmund Cibas, MD (Cytology)
Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, DirectorBeth Overmoyer, MDDaniel W. Cramer, MD, ScD
Lisa Arvine, NPCornelia Bannigan, RNDebra Cotto, RNKathleen Connor, RNCatherine Earley, NPClaudia Howe, RNAnn Stewart, NPJoan Sullivan, RNAnn-Marie Wilson, NP
Leah Contrino, PA-CCWN 7Brigham and Women's Hospital617-732-7329
Kia Prescott, PADana-Farber Cancer Institute617-632-3669
CWN-7Brigham and Women's Hospital617-732-6462
Rachel Allende, LICSW (Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking patients)Roberta (Bobbi) Allison, LICSW (inpatient)Irene Goss-Werner, LICSW (outpatient)Annette Quinn, LCSW (outpatient)
As a major research institution, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) is able to provide patients not only with outstanding care, but also with some of the most advanced therapies available.
We base our treatments on the latest scientific findings, and many patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of promising new treatments.
See current open trials for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer.
See current open trials for patients with endometrial and uterine cancer.
See current open trials for patients with gestational trophoblastic disease.
See current open trials for patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent ovarian, peritoneal, or fallopian tube cancer.
See current open trials for patients with vulvar cancer.
Researchers in the Gynecologic Oncology Program are exploring gynecologic cancers from a wide variety of scientific angles – from discoveries about the genes that cause tumors to develop and grow, to investigations of new therapies, to studies of ways to prevent cancers from forming.
Our physician-scientists are focused on the development of new treatments for specific subtypes of gynecologic cancers, including PARP inhibitors for BRCA-related high grade serous ovarian cancer. They are also delving deep into the genetic underpinnings of gynecologic cancers to find the mutations responsible for the disease.
Read more about recent DF/BWCC research findings, based on cancer type:
Learning from TissueUsing human tissue samples has helped researchers develop effective treatments for many breast and gynecologic cancers..
Scientists find pathways that control cell growth in endometrial and cervical cancerDana-Farber physician-scientists are studying the genetic mutations of cervical cancer to determine if there are common or different mutations across subtypes. So far, the team has discovered that 34 percent of the cancers they analyzed had mutations in the P13K pathway. They also found distinct mutations in squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas, suggesting different treatment approaches for each subtype.
This is one of the largest groups of cervical cancer tumor samples studied to date, and the findings suggest that targeted therapies tailored to the tumor type, rather than more generalized approaches, may be more effective than existing therapies. P13K inhibitors are currently in clinical trials, mostly for endometrial cancer, but are now beginning in cervical cancer as well.
Seeking genetic culprits in cervical cancerUsing the powerful tools of genomic research, Alexi Wright, MD, has begun probing the relatively unknown cellular territory of cervical cancer, hunting for new opportunities to block the mutated gene pathways driving the cancer.
Study shows promise of molecular screening for gynecologic cancersA new study that proposes a three-in-one test for gynecologic cancers underscores the promise of molecular screening for early detection of endometrial and ovarian cancers, but also suggests that such tests are not yet ready for clinical use, write the authors of a commentary in a 2013 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
Scientists find pathways that control cell growth in endometrial and cervical cancerPanagiotis Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhD, directs a clinical trial of drugs that target mutations driving the development of endometrial cancer. This multicenter phase II trial is examining genetic mutations that result in the activation of the P13K signaling pathway, which promotes uncontrolled cell growth powering tumor development. This study has discovered that a certain type of endometrial cancer, called serous, may be more susceptible to this type of therapy.
DF/BWCC pioneers robot-assisted surgery for endometrial cancerThis minimally invasive approach typically has offered powerful advantages over conventional open surgery, including far less bleeding, lowered risk of infection, and dramatically shorter patient recovery times.
New two-drug combination shows activity in ovarian cancerA novel pairing of two cancer drug types showed promising activity and had manageable toxicities, according to a first-of-its-kind clinical trial led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Searching for Similarities: Certain breast and ovarian cancers have genetic commonalities Researchers at Dana-Farber look at the ways certain breast and ovarian cancers have similar gene mutations and shared treatments.
Human Tissue Research: Getting at the roots of women's cancer Tissue samples donated by patients are among medical researchers' most precious resources..
Learning from TissueUsing human tissue samples has helped researchers develop effective treatments for many breast and gynecologic cancers.
Study shows promise of screening for gynecologic cancersA new study that proposes a three-in-one test for gynecologic cancers underscores the promise of molecular screening for early detection of endometrial and ovarian cancers, but also suggests that such tests are not yet ready for clinical use, wrote the authors of a commentary in a 2013 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
Researchers identify three subtypes of high-grade serous ovarian cancerNew research led by Dana-Farber scientists may soon enable doctors to determine which patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) – the most common cancer of the ovary – are most likely to benefit from a certain class of drugs.
"Our findings suggest that, for the first time, we can determine which patients have the best chance of responding to specific categories of drugs for high-grade serous ovarian cancer," said Ursula Matulonis, MD, one of the senior authors of the study, which has been published online by the journal Clinical Cancer Research. "For this disease, one of the most difficult to treat of all gynecologic cancers, the study is an important step forward."
Anti-angiogenesis drugs may work in new ovarian cancer subtypeDana-Farber scientists have identified a new subtype of ovarian cancer able to grow its own blood vessels, suggesting that such tumors might be especially susceptible to "anti-angiogenic" drugs that block blood vessel formation.
In a study published in 2012, investigators estimate the subtype may account for a third of all serous ovarian cancers, a common cancer of the surface of the ovaries. The discovery may spur clinical trials to see if patients with the subtype can benefit from anti-angiogenic therapies now being tested in other cancers.
PARP inhibitors on trialIt has been known for some time that women with mutations in their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have an increased likelihood of developing ovarian and breast cancer. Phase 1 and Phase II clinical trials are underway at Dana-Farber using new drugs called PARP inhibitors on ovarian cancer patients. Ursula Matulonis, MD, says that for some women with high-grade serous tumors and BRCA mutations, the response rates have been higher than would be expected from traditional chemotherapy. She says this is "very encouraging," and the PARP inhibitors are now being tested on patients with high-grade serous tumors who do not have BRCA mutations in the hopes of similar results.
New scientific model tracks high grade serous ovarian cancer to origins in fallopian tubeHigh-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), the fifth-deadliest cancer among American women, is thought by many scientists to often be a fallopian tube malignancy masquerading as an ovarian one. While most of the evidence linking HGSOC to the fallopian tubes has so far been only circumstantial, a new Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study suggests there is a direct connection, a finding that could aid in the development of better treatments for the cancer.
Blocking the path to cancer growthHER2 is overexpressed in a very small number of ovarian cancers but its genetic cousin, HER3, has been estimated to be abnormal in 25 to 30 percent of ovarian tumors. Building on promising results in studies, Joyce Liu, MD, MPH, is working to test the effectiveness of a new HER3-inhibitor.
Lung cancer drug shows promise against vulvar cancerTarceva, a targeted therapy used to treat some types of non-small cell lung cancers, is showing promise in treating vulvar cancer in a recent Dana-Farber clinical trial.
Also see a list of selected published reports and abstracts by our clinician-researchers.
If you have never been seen before at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, please call our new patient coordinators, Martina Surette or Kristine Vasios, at 877-332-4294.
To make or change follow-up appointments, call 617-632-3669. If you have staples, you will also need to be seen by your surgeon's nurse approximately 10-14 days after your surgery for staple removal.
During the day, call your doctor's nurse:
For Drs. Berkowitz, Goldstein, or Feltmate, call Joan Sullivan, RN, at 617-632-5523 For Drs. Muto, Feldman, or Horowitz, call Kathy Connor, RN, at 617-632-3260
At night or on weekends, call 617-732-6660 and ask for the gynecologic oncology fellow on call.
If you were seen by a medical oncologist, you will need to follow up with them as per their recommendation.
If your doctor is Ursula Matulonis, MD, please call 617-632-2334.If your doctor is Suzanne Berlin, DO, please call 617-632-5269.If your doctor is Susana Campos, MD, MPH, please call 617-632-5269.If your doctor is Panagiotis Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhD, please call 617-632-2334.If your doctor is Joyce Liu, MD, MPH, please call 617-632-5269.If your doctor is Alexi Wright, MD, MPH, please call 617-632-2334.
Maureen Fagan, RNP, MSDirector for OB-Gyn ProgramsBrigham and Women's Hospital617-732-4420
Diana PerkinsPractice Manager for Ambulatory OB/GYNBrigham and Women's Hospital617-732-5184
Kalimah NadeemAdministrative AssistantDivision of Gynecologic Oncology, BWH617-732-8843
Madeline PintoSurgical SchedulerDivision of Gynecologic Oncology, BWH617-278-0459
Ashley BradyClinical Administrative Support SpecialistGynecologic Oncology Program617-632-3669
Emily Dodge BeckManager, Disease Center OperationsGynecologic Oncology Program617-632-4544
Kristina OlsonExecutive Support SpecialistGynecologic Oncology Program617-632-2334
Allison AupperleeSupport Specialist Gynecologic Oncology Program617-632-5269
Kathleen HuntPractice CoordinatorGynecologic Oncology Program617-632-2334
Kayla SnowPractice CoordinatorGynecologic Oncology Program617-632-5269
Christin Whalen, RN, Research NurseDana-Farber Cancer Institute617-582-7738
Stephanie MorrisseyDana-Farber Cancer Institute617-632-4975
Victoria PattersonDana-Farber Cancer Institute617-632-3257
Kimberly MacNeil, Research Project ManagerDana-Farber Cancer Institute617-632-2621
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