The Section of Gynecologic Oncology, under the leadership of Dr. Diane Yamada provides the best possible care for women with gynecologic cancers. Our section has 7 full-time gynecologic oncology faculty. Our Section offers innovative treatments, including minimally invasive surgery with the DaVinci robotic system for endometrial cancer and tumor debulking with HIPEC for ovarian/fallopian tube cancer. We also perform radical trachelectomies to preserve fertility in young women with early cervical cancer.
Dr. John Moroney from Gynecologic Oncology and Dr. Gini Fleming, from the Section of Hematology/Oncology, run a comprehensive gynecologic oncology clinical trials program that offers patients access to novel treatments. These trials are available not only at the University of Chicago Hyde Park campus but also at our Orland Park and Silver Cross locations.
Dr. Nita Lee, who is an expert in the treatment of endometrial cancer and surgery in obese patients, has created a survivorship program, along with the Physician Assistants, to address the specific medical needs of cancer survivors. She is the physician lead of the University of Chicago Woman to Woman Peer Mentoring program for gynecologic cancer survivors which promotes survivorship programming and formally trains survivors to serve as peer mentors for newly diagnosed patients. Dr. Lee is also our Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Director, for the University of Chicago/NorthShore University Health System training program. This is one of only two gynecologic oncology fellowship programs in Illinois.
Our physicians work closely with Dr. Kiran Turaga from the Section of Surgical Oncology to offer hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for the surgical treatment of recurrent mucinous cancers. For early cervical cancer, we offer fertility-sparing treatment with radical trachelectomy. Our multi-disciplinary Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine (PRISM) for Women and Girls with Cancer, led by Dr. Stacy Lindau, addresses sexual health concerns in female cancer patients and survivors. Additionally, Dr. Iris Romero, a general gynecologist and cancer researcher, and Dr. Shari Snow, the Chief of our Section of Gynecology and Minimally Invasive Surgery, have established a cancer risk program to counsel women at high risk for developing gynecologic cancers. Dr. Josephine Kim brings a keen interest in quality improvement and surgical outcomes research.
Dr. Kathyrn Mills and Dr. Katherine Kurnit have also joined our team. Before coming back to UChicago Medicine, where she did her residency, Dr. Mills joined the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at Washington University in St. Louis. There she participated in a number of research projects, including the investigation of novel targeted therapies for gynecologic cancers. This year, Dr. Mills won the 2019 GOG Foundation New Investigator Award. Dr. Kurnit has joined us from the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, concurrently earning a Masters of Public Health at the University of Texas. She also participated in the highly regarded “Excellence in Clinical Research” course, receiving a scholarship for the course from the Gynecologic Oncology Group. She was recently awarded a New Investigator’s Award from the GOG Foundation in order to support her involvement in NRG Oncology over the next several years.
In addition to our faculty, our clinical team includes highly skilled physician assistants, Libbe Hassenfritz, Kathryn Hawley and Mia Sorkin, and chemotherapy nurses, Julie Lutz and Connie Stewart, who have had decades of experience caring for our patients. The entire team meets weekly for Tumor Board with Gynecologic Pathology, Radiology, and Medical Oncology attending physicians, to share information and insights that lead to the most effective treatments for our patients.
Our Section has an extensive research program focusing on the biology of ovarian cancer and on obesity and endometrial cancer. Our ovarian cancer research laboratory is dedicated to understanding the biology of metastasis. Recently, we have explored the use of high-throughput screening to identify novel drugs that can improve the treatment of patients suffering from cancer. Our members have received research funding from many highly competitive sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Additionally, our Section offers innovative clinical trials to give our patients access to novel treatments.
Section faculty are responsible for educating students and residents in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers and have consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching. With our colleagues at NorthShore University HealthSystem, we offer a highly competitive, ABOG-approved Fellowship training program in Gynecologic Oncology, which began in 2010.