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 an 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
  • No one ever plans to have cancer – and there’s never a good time. For Homa Sadat, her cancer came at a particularly bad time: just one year after losing her father to the pancreatic cancer he had battled for two years. She was working a grueling schedule managing three commercial office buildings. She’d just [&...
  • Patients at City of Hope – most of whom are fighting cancer – rely on more than 37,000 units of blood and platelets each year for their treatment and survival. Every one of those units comes from family, friends or someone who traded an hour or so of their time and a pint of their […]
  • Surgery is vital in the treatment of cancer – it’s used to help diagnose, treat and even prevent the disease – so a new colorectal cancer study linking a decrease in surgeries for advanced cancer to increased survival rates may raise more questions than it answers for some patients. The surgery-and-surviv...
  • Age is the single greatest risk factor overall for cancer; our chances of developing the disease rise steeply after age 50. For geriatric oncology nurse Peggy Burhenn, the meaning is clear: Cancer is primarily a geriatric condition. That’s why she is forging inroads in the care of older adults with cancer. Burh...
  • One of American’s great sportscasters, Stuart Scott, passed away from recurrent cancer of the appendix at the young age of 49. His cancer was diagnosed when he was only 40 years old. It was found during an operation for appendicitis. His courageous fight against this disease began in 2007, resumed again with an...
  • When Homa Sadat found a lump in her breast at age 27, her gynecologist told her what many doctors say to young women: You’re too young to have breast cancer. With the lump dismissed as a harmless cyst, she didn’t think about it again until she was at a restaurant six months later and felt […]
  • What most people call a “bone marrow transplant” is not actually a transplant of bone marrow; it is instead the transplantation of what’s known as hematopoietic stem cells. Such cells are often taken from bone marrow, but not always. Hematopoietic stem cells are simply immature cells that can ...
  • Doctors have long known that women with a precancerous condition called atypical hyperplasia have an elevated risk of breast cancer. Now a new study has found that the risk is more serious than previously thought. Hyperplasia itself is an overgrowth of cells; atypical hyperplasia is an overgrowth in a distorted...
  • Don’t kid yourself. Just because it’s mid-January doesn’t mean it’s too late to make resolutions for a happier, and healthier, 2015. Just consider them resolutions that are more mature than those giddy, sometimes self-deluded, Jan. 1 resolutions. To that end, we share some advice from Cary A. Presant, M.D., an ...
  • Sales and marketing executive Jim Murphy first came to City of Hope in 2002 to donate blood for a friend who was being treated for esophageal cancer. The disease is serious. Although esophageal cancer accounts for only about 1 percent of cancer diagnoses in the U.S., only about 20 percent of patients survive at...
  • Aaron Bomar and his family were celebrating his daughter’s 33rd birthday in September 2014 when he received alarming news: According to an X-ray taken earlier that day at an urgent care facility, he had a node on his aorta and was in danger of an aneurysm. Bomar held hands with his wife and daughter and s...
  • Explaining a prostate cancer diagnosis to a young child can be difficult — especially when the cancer is incurable. But conveying the need for prostate cancer research, as it turns out, is easily done. And that leads to action. Earlier this year, Gerald Rustad, 71, who is living with a very aggressive form of m...
  • Cancer and its treatment can create unexpected daily challenges for patients. Side effects from chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy as well as the disease itself can cause difficulty in everything from speech to movement to eating. When this happens, rehabilitation is vital; it helps patients restore th...
  • Betsy Sauer and her four daughters share plenty in common. They’re smart and successful.  They’re funny, ranging from wryly witty to wickedly hilarious. Their hobbies tend toward the active and adventurous: hiking, rock climbing, skiing, swimming, fishing, kayaking, yoga and horseback riding. Also, they take he...
  • Flu season is upon us, and few people should take the risk of infection more seriously than cancer patients and their loved ones and caregivers. With the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning of widespread influenza outbreaks, it’s clear that flu season – and the associated risks – won’t en...