A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Gynecological Cancers Treatment Approaches Bookmark and Share

Our Treatment Approach to Gynecologic Cancers

City of Hope is at the forefront of gynecologic cancer treatment. For women needing medical intervention, we take a comprehensive and aggressive approach to treatment offering state-of-the-art surgical, medical, and radiation therapies, including many that are not yet available to the general public. Our supportive care and long-term follow-up programs help women and their families manage the process of treatment and recovery.

City of Hope uses a multidisciplinary approach to treat gynecologic cancers. Our surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, and laboratory researchers collaborate closely throughout treatment to ensure gynecologic cancer patients receive the best care possible.
 
 
 

City of Hope offers the latest advances in the surgical management provided by specialty trained gynecologic oncology surgeons. The scope of surgery is determined by the type, size, and location of the cancer.

For women with gynecologic cancers, in particular ovarian cancer, our goal is to locate and remove as much of the tumor tissue as possible. This type of procedure, known as “debulking” surgery, helps us to understand the extent of the cancer in the ovaries and elsewhere in the abdomen, and allows us to remove all of the visible cancer.  Ultraradical debulking, a surgery in which as much cancer as possible is removed, followed with chemotherapy gives patients the best chance of a cure. We are experts in this procedure.
 
When appropriate for patients, our specialists utilize minimally invasive surgery with advanced technologies such as laparoscopy and the da Vinci S Surgical System with robotic capabilities that allow for greater precision. We are one of a select number of gynecologic oncology programs in the country to routinely offer this surgery.  These surgeries feature small incisions, potentially less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stay and recovery time, fewer complications, and a quicker return to normal activities.
 
Our team of world-class specialists offers the latest modalities for gynecological organ preservation, and we offer leading-edge fertility-sparing options for young women who want to preserve their fertility after treatment.
 
For women at high risk of developing gynecologic cancer, we offer a preventative surgery called salpingo-oophorectomy, which involves the surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This procedure can reduce the chance of ovarian and related cancers by as much as 80% in women at high risk.
 
Medical Oncology
 
Medicines that slow or stop the growth of cancer cells are often included in a patient’s treatment plan. These drugs travel through the bloodstream and are able to kill any small cancer cells that have leaked into the blood and may take root in other parts of the body. We offer the best treatments available and are constantly investigating promising new treatments, including novel chemotherapies, endocrine therapies, and immunotherapies to help save the lives of our patients.

Patients with small tumors or early-stage gynecologic cancers may receive chemotherapy alone, or before or after surgery. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is given before surgery to help shrink the tumor. Adjuvant chemotherapy is administered after debulking surgery in order to “mop up” any remaining disease.  Patients may also be given hormonal therapies.

Patients with large primary tumors may be considered for neoadjuvant treatment. Patients with more advanced disease may also be candidates for new strategies developed to slow the spread of cancer. These may include combinations of standard drugs, investigational and targeted therapies or other options.
 
Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy
We are one of only a select number of gynecologic oncology programs in the country to routinely use intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to treat ovarian cancer. IP chemotherapy and HIPEC deliver drugs directly into the abdomen during or after surgery. This type of chemotherapy can greatly improve the outcomes for women with advanced disease.
 
Radiation Therapy
 
Radiation therapy is often used in treating gynecologic cancers. It may be used as a stand-alone treatment for early-stage cancer, or in combination with surgery and other treatments in more advanced cases, to help reduce the chance of cancer recurrence. We also offer new investigational treatments for appropriately selected patients.
 
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. We use two types of radiation therapy used to treat gynecologic cancers:
 
  • External beam radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer.
  • Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires or catheters that are placed into or near the cancer.
     
The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
 
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
IMRT targets tumors with pencil-thin “beamlets” of radiation. By sculpting the radiation to precisely match the tumor’s contours, a higher dose can be delivered to the cancer while avoiding unnecessary exposure of healthy tissues. Treatment with IMRT may also minimize certain side effects.
 
Click on the links to learn more about treatments for cervical cancer, endometrial/uterine cancer or ovarian cancer.
 

Gynecological Cancers Treatment Approaches

Our Treatment Approach to Gynecologic Cancers

City of Hope is at the forefront of gynecologic cancer treatment. For women needing medical intervention, we take a comprehensive and aggressive approach to treatment offering state-of-the-art surgical, medical, and radiation therapies, including many that are not yet available to the general public. Our supportive care and long-term follow-up programs help women and their families manage the process of treatment and recovery.

City of Hope uses a multidisciplinary approach to treat gynecologic cancers. Our surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, and laboratory researchers collaborate closely throughout treatment to ensure gynecologic cancer patients receive the best care possible.
 
 
 

City of Hope offers the latest advances in the surgical management provided by specialty trained gynecologic oncology surgeons. The scope of surgery is determined by the type, size, and location of the cancer.

For women with gynecologic cancers, in particular ovarian cancer, our goal is to locate and remove as much of the tumor tissue as possible. This type of procedure, known as “debulking” surgery, helps us to understand the extent of the cancer in the ovaries and elsewhere in the abdomen, and allows us to remove all of the visible cancer.  Ultraradical debulking, a surgery in which as much cancer as possible is removed, followed with chemotherapy gives patients the best chance of a cure. We are experts in this procedure.
 
When appropriate for patients, our specialists utilize minimally invasive surgery with advanced technologies such as laparoscopy and the da Vinci S Surgical System with robotic capabilities that allow for greater precision. We are one of a select number of gynecologic oncology programs in the country to routinely offer this surgery.  These surgeries feature small incisions, potentially less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stay and recovery time, fewer complications, and a quicker return to normal activities.
 
Our team of world-class specialists offers the latest modalities for gynecological organ preservation, and we offer leading-edge fertility-sparing options for young women who want to preserve their fertility after treatment.
 
For women at high risk of developing gynecologic cancer, we offer a preventative surgery called salpingo-oophorectomy, which involves the surgical removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This procedure can reduce the chance of ovarian and related cancers by as much as 80% in women at high risk.
 
Medical Oncology
 
Medicines that slow or stop the growth of cancer cells are often included in a patient’s treatment plan. These drugs travel through the bloodstream and are able to kill any small cancer cells that have leaked into the blood and may take root in other parts of the body. We offer the best treatments available and are constantly investigating promising new treatments, including novel chemotherapies, endocrine therapies, and immunotherapies to help save the lives of our patients.

Patients with small tumors or early-stage gynecologic cancers may receive chemotherapy alone, or before or after surgery. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is given before surgery to help shrink the tumor. Adjuvant chemotherapy is administered after debulking surgery in order to “mop up” any remaining disease.  Patients may also be given hormonal therapies.

Patients with large primary tumors may be considered for neoadjuvant treatment. Patients with more advanced disease may also be candidates for new strategies developed to slow the spread of cancer. These may include combinations of standard drugs, investigational and targeted therapies or other options.
 
Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy
We are one of only a select number of gynecologic oncology programs in the country to routinely use intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to treat ovarian cancer. IP chemotherapy and HIPEC deliver drugs directly into the abdomen during or after surgery. This type of chemotherapy can greatly improve the outcomes for women with advanced disease.
 
Radiation Therapy
 
Radiation therapy is often used in treating gynecologic cancers. It may be used as a stand-alone treatment for early-stage cancer, or in combination with surgery and other treatments in more advanced cases, to help reduce the chance of cancer recurrence. We also offer new investigational treatments for appropriately selected patients.
 
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. We use two types of radiation therapy used to treat gynecologic cancers:
 
  • External beam radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer.
  • Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires or catheters that are placed into or near the cancer.
     
The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
 
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
IMRT targets tumors with pencil-thin “beamlets” of radiation. By sculpting the radiation to precisely match the tumor’s contours, a higher dose can be delivered to the cancer while avoiding unnecessary exposure of healthy tissues. Treatment with IMRT may also minimize certain side effects.
 
Click on the links to learn more about treatments for cervical cancer, endometrial/uterine cancer or ovarian cancer.
 
Quick Links
Gynecological Cancers News
Cooper Finkel Women’s Health Center
Many gynecological cancer and breast cancer  services at City of Hope are provided at the Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women's Health Center. Here, women receive the highest quality care, whether seeking prevention and screening services or coping with a cancer diagnosis.
Tips, tools and resources to help you and your family cope with the issues that arise during and after cancer treatment.
As a leader in cancer research, our goal is to bring the latest scientific findings into medical practice as quickly as possible.
Medical Minute
Listen to the Medical Minute Gynecological Cancers with
Dr. Robert J. Morgan, co-director of the City of Hope gynecological cancers program.
 


NEWS & UPDATES
  • Approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. Although the disease can have a profound impact on the patient and her loved ones, it can often be effectively treated with surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Skin- and nipple-sparing surgeries,...
  • City of Hope is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer and precancerous conditions. Our multidisciplinary team of health care professionals takes an integrated approach to treating this disease by combining the latest research findings with outstanding patient care. In this podcast, Hans Schoell...
  • Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia may soon find themselves with improved treatment options. Interim results from a study not conducted at City of Hope suggest that, for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, a new oral drug given in combination with standard treatment significantly reduced...
  • The childhood journal of Kevin Chan, M.D., foreshadowed his future: At the tender age of 6, he wrote that he wanted to be a surgeon when he grew up. “I liked the idea of fixing broken arms and legs,” Chan said. “Back then, those were the procedures I could relate to.” Although his passion for […]
  • The outlook and length of survival has not changed much in the past 25 years for patients suffering from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer known as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). These patients still have few options for therapy; currently available therapies are generally toxic and do not incre...
  • “With bladder cancer, the majority of patients that I see can be cured,” said urologist Kevin Chan, M.D., head of reconstructive urology at City of Hope. “The challenge is to get patients the same quality of life that they had before surgery.” To meet this challenge, Chan and the urologic team at City of Hope [...
  • Already pioneers in the use of immunotherapy, City of Hope researchers are now testing the bold approach to cancer treatment against one of medicine’s biggest challenges: brain cancer. This month, they will launch a clinical trial using patients’ own modified T cells to fight advanced brain tumors. One of but a...
  • Brain cancer may be one of the most-frightening diagnoses people can receive, striking at the very center of who we are as individuals. Further, it often develops over time, causing no symptoms until it’s already advanced. Listen to City of Hope Radio as Behnam Badie, M.D., director of the Brain Tumor Pro...
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It takes a village. No man is an island. Choose your aphorism: It’s a simple truth that collaboration usually is better than isolation. That’s especially true when you’re trying to introduce healthful habits and deliver health care to people at risk of disease and...
  • When Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced earlier this week that he has the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he was giving voice to the experience of more than 71,000 Americans each year. The announcement came with Hogan’s promise to stay in office while undergoing aggressive treatment for the...
  • The spine can be affected by many different kinds of tumors. Malignant, or cancerous, tumors can arise within the spine itself. Secondary spinal tumors, which are actually much more common, begin as cancers in another part of the body, such as the breast and prostate, and then spread, or metastasize, to the spi...
  • Although most cancer occurs in older adults, the bulk of cancer research doesn’t focus on this vulnerable and fast-growing population. City of Hope and its Cancer and Aging Research Team aim to change that, and they’re getting a significant boost from Professional Practice Leader Peggy Burhenn, R.N....
  • Liz Graef-Larcher’s first brain tumor was discovered by accident six years ago. The then-48-year-old with a long history of sinus problems and headaches had been sent for an MRI, and the scan found a lesion in her brain called a meningioma – a tumor that arises in the meninges, the layers of tissue that cover a...
  • The colon and rectum are parts of the body’s gastrointestinal system, also called the digestive tract. After food is digested in the stomach and nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, the remaining material moves down into the lower large intestine (colon) where water and nutrients are absorbed. The low...
  • If there is one truism about hospital stays it is that patients want to get out. For many, however, the joy of being discharged is tempered by the unexpected challenges that recovery in a new setting may pose. Even with professional help, the quality of care and treatment that patients receive at City of Hope [...