With five fellowship-trained subspecialists, the Gynecologic Oncology Center at Cooper Cancer Institute is the largest program of its kind in New Jersey. But what truly distinguishes the Center is the team’s depth of experience and expertise in innovative diagnostic and treatment technologies, and its comprehensive clinical and supportive care services.
“There’s no reason to send any South Jersey patient with ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer to any other hospital,” says David P. Warshal, MD, Head of Cooper’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology. “We provide virtually every aspect of gynecologic oncology care; and, with five offices located throughout South Jersey, and one in Langhorne, PA, access to advanced care is exceptionally convenient.”
ADVANCED DIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES
Cooper gynecologic oncologists use sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic technologies including intraperitoneal chemotherapy, CyberKnife® radiosurgery, robotic-assisted surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System and minimally invasive surgery.
Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is a significant weapon in the Center’s arsenal for treating ovarian cancer. This highly specialized treatment, in which chemotherapy is delivered directly into the abdominal cavity via catheter, has been shown to extend survival by up to 16 months in patients with advanced ovarian cancer who have achieved optimal results from surgery to debulk their tumors. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is a rigorous treatment option that demands a high level of clinical expertise to manage toxicity issues.
“Over half of all our patients with advanced ovarian cancer are candidates for this treatment,” says Dr. Warshal. “And we are the only practice in South Jersey to offer it.”
“CyberKnife is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of isolated recurrences of cervical, ovarian and endometrial tumors,” says Dr. Warshal. “We work closely with our colleagues in radiation oncology to develop and implement a treatment plan for our patients using this innovative technology.”
With its pinpoint precision, CyberKnife is particularly effective in treating complex and difficult-to-reach tumors. Appropriate patients can be treated in as few as one to five outpatient visits compared to traditional radiation therapy which is administered over weeks or months.
A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO CARE
Cooper’s gynecologic oncologists participate in weekly, multidisciplinary gynecologic tumor conferences. Specialists from various disciplines – radiation oncology, pathology, radiology and other cancer specialties – work together to provide their patients with the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies available, access to groundbreaking clinical trials and dynamic patient-physician relationships. A full complement of support services including nutrition counseling, genetic testing and counseling, palliative care, social work services, physical rehabilitation, complementary medicine therapies and behavioral health support provide complete care for our patients.
One of the most important members of the care team is the Gynecologic Cancer Nurse Navigator Susan Maltman, RN, MSN, OCN. Susan serves as a patient advocate and educator and helps newly diagnosed patients navigate their care across the full continuum of cancer services.
“We never lose sight of the life-altering impact of cancer and its treatment on all aspects of a woman’s life including future childbearing,” Dr. Warshal emphasizes. “We can treat early-stage endometrial cancers hormonally to preserve fertility. We are also one of a limited number of Centers preserving fertility in young women with early cervical cancers by performing a new, uterus-conserving surgical technique called radical trachelectomy.”
CANCER GENETICS PROGRAM
Approximately 5 percent to 10 percent of all cancers are hereditary, meaning that they are related to a genetic change that can be passed through the generations. Cooper Cancer Institute offers a Cancer Genetics Program to assess each patient’s risk for hereditary breast, ovarian, uterine, colon and other cancers that may run in a family. Patients are empowered when provided with the information they need to make important decisions about genetic testing, as well as cancer treatment and prevention measures.
The Gynecologic Oncology Center – the state’s only full member of the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) – is one of only 50 in the nation to meet the high standards for comprehensive care, advanced treatments and patient accrual to clinical trials that this status requires. GOG is a National Cancer Institute-supported research cooperative, giving patients with gynecologic malignancies access to novel therapies through an active clinical trials network. Approximately 45 GOG-initiated clinical trials are active at any one time – and available to Cooper patients.
To refer a patient, or for a physician-to-physician consultation with a member of the Cooper Gynecologic Oncology group, please call 856.325.6644.