About Me

I am a board-certified gynecologic oncologist who specializes in the surgical treatment of women with known or suspected ovarian and endometrial cancers. For most women who have these gynecologic cancers, surgery is an important part of the initial treatment and increases the possibility of long-term success. Every time I enter the operating room, my entire focus and effort is directed toward completely removing the cancer.

A diagnosis of ovarian cancer can be very challenging for women and their families. Together, we create an individualized treatment plan that incorporates the latest knowledge in ovarian cancer therapy, both in the operating room and beyond. My teamwork approach to ovarian cancer therapy coupled with years of expertise allows my patients to benefit from the most advanced surgical and medical treatments.

In addition to my expertise in surgical management of advanced ovarian and endometrial cancers, I also have special training in minimally invasive surgery—laparoscopy and robotic surgery—and preventive surgery for selected patients. I incorporate chemotherapy that can be delivered directly into the abdomen for women who have advanced ovarian cancer. For women with recurrent ovarian cancer, I can use genomic testing to analyze tumors and develop individualized therapies. I use precision medicine to create better treatment options for all women who have ovarian cancer.

In my laboratory at Pelisyonkis Langone, I focus on precision medicine, rare tumors, and early detection and prevention of gynecologic cancers. We are currently leading the development of national clinical trials for ovarian cancer prevention. We are also working to understand which women are most likely to respond to treatment with anticancer drugs so we can direct the best treatments toward the most appropriate patients. My research has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, Stand Up to Cancer, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and Cycle for Survival. 

I have authored or coauthored more than 160 peer-reviewed research papers, reviewed articles, and book chapters. I am the founding editor of Atlas of Procedures in Gynecologic Oncology, and I serve on the scientific advisory committee of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the Clearity Foundation. I am also a special advisor to the board of directors of the Honorable Tina Brozman Foundation and the co-chair of the ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and uterine carcinosarcoma working groups for The Cancer Genome Atlas. I was honored to receive the Mentor Award from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2012 and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer’s Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize in 2013.


Conditions and Treatments

ovarian cancer, ovarian cancer surgery, minimally invasive surgery, robotic assisted surgery, cancer surgery, gynecological surgery, bloodless, cancer screening, endometrial cancer, endometrial hyperplasia, fallopian tube cancer, female germ cell tumor, gynecologic cancer, leiomyosarcoma of the uterus, ovarian cancer screening, peritoneal cancer, tumor of uterine muscle, uterine cancer, fibroid tumor
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Credentials

Positions
  • Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology
Education and Training
  • Fellowship, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Gynecologic Oncology, 2002
  • Residency, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1999
  • MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1995

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Locations and Appointments

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  • Aetna
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Pelisyonkis Langone Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center

240 East 38th Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Research My Research

Research Summary

My research primarily focuses on ovarian and endometrial cancers. The broad aims of my work are to develop novel biomarkers, expand the use of precision medicine, and understand rare tumors.

Of particular interest are the early detection and prevention of ovarian cancer. We use next-generation sequencing to analyze circulating and shed biomarkers in order to develop better approaches for primary, secondary, and tertiary ovarian cancer prevention. Primary prevention often involves surgical procedures, but secondary and tertiary prevention can capitalize on newly discovered biomarkers.

My colleagues and I are also engaged in translational research, where we apply precision medicine techniques in ongoing and completed clinical trials. We study tumor specimens and companion normal tissues to determine the molecular features—including DNA mutations, epigenetics, transcriptomics, and proteomics— associated with specific patient responses. We also apply these techniques to model systems in order to identify subgroups of patients who are uniquely sensitive or resistant to targeted therapies, such as poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors or immune checkpoint blockade.

In recent years, my laboratory has discovered driver mutations, which confer a selective growth advantage and thus promote cancer development, for certain rare tumor types.

We recently discovered universal SMARCA4 gene mutations that appear to be a critical driver for a very aggressive form of cancer that affects young women—small-cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type. The SMARCA4 encodes a catalytic ATPase subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. We subsequently determined that expression of the SMARCA2 protein, another catalytic subunit of this complex, is also lost in all of these tumors. In most other solid tumors with a SWI/SNF loss, a compensatory upregulation of other members of this protein complex counteracts the functional loss of any single component. We continue to investigate the remarkable concurrent loss of both catalytic ATPase SWI/SNF subunits to better understand this disease pathogenesis.

We are elucidating the mechanisms that permit these tumors to develop and spread. We are advancing the fight against these rare tumors by developing biological models to help with drug development and to share with scientists worldwide.

As division director of gynecologic oncology, I have also overseen the development of our clinical trial portfolio and the translational research program.

Academic Contact

Academic office

240 East 38th Street

Nineteenth Floor

New York, NY 10016

Phone

-501-4834

Research Interests Timeline

These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from PubMed and the MeSH term library.
represents one publication
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Clinical Trials and Research Studies

  • Women Choosing Surgical Prevention

  • Multi-gene panel testing in ovarian cancer.

  • A PHASE 1B OPEN-LABEL MULTICENTER STUDY TO INVESTIGATE THE SAFETY AND PRELIMINARY EFFICACY OF NKTR 214 IN COMBINATION WITH ANTI-PD-1 (PEMBROLIZUMAB) FOR PATIENTS WITH LOCALLY ADVANCED OR METASTATIC MELANOMA LOCALLY ADVANCED OR METASTATIC UROTHELIAL BLADDER CANCER OR METASTATIC NON-S ALL CELL LUNG CANCER

Publications

  • Visvanathan, Kala; Shaw, Patricia; May, Betty J; Bahadirli-Talbot, Asli; Kaushiva, Alpana; Risch, Harvey; Narod, Steven; Wang, Tian-Li; Parkash, Vinita; Vang, Russell; Levine, Douglas A; Soslow, Robert; Kurman, Robert; Shih, Ie-Ming

    Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.). 2018 Nov 21; 11(11):697-706

  • Lee, Jessica; Gubernick, Lindsay R; Brodsky, Allison L; Fehniger, Julia E; Levine, Douglas A; Gerber, Deanna; Asgari, Shabnam A; Cantor, Anna; Martineau, Jessica T; Ginsburg, Ophira M; Smith, Julia A; Pothuri, Bhavana

    Gynecologic oncology. 2018 Oct 06; 151(1):153-158

  • Lu, Yingchang; Beeghly-Fadiel, Alicia; Wu, Lang; Guo, Xingyi; Li, Bingshan; Schildkraut, Joellen M; Im, Hae Kyung; Chen, Yian Ann; Permuth, Jennifer B; Reid, Brett M; Teer, Jamie K; Moysich, Kirsten B; Andrulis, Irene L; Anton-Culver, Hoda; Arun, Banu K; Bandera, Elisa V; Barkardottir, Rosa B; Barnes, Daniel R; Benitez, Javier; Bjørge, Line; Brenton, James; Butzow, Ralf; Caldes, Trinidad; Caligo, Maria A; Campbell, Ian G; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Claes, Kathleen B M; Couch, Fergus J; Cramer, Daniel W; Daly, Mary B; DeFazio, Anna; Dennis, Joe; Díez, Orland; Domchek, Susan M; Dork, Thilo; Easton, Douglas F; Eccles, Diana M; Fasching, Peter A; Fortner, Renée T; Fountzilas, George; Friedman, Eitan; Ganz, Patricia A; Garber, Judy; Giles, Graham G; Godwin, Andrew K; Goldgar, David E; Goodman, Marc T; Greene, Mark H; Gronwald, Jacek; Hamann, Ute; Heitz, Florian; Hildebrandt, Michelle A T; Høgdall, Claus K; Hollestelle, Antoinette; Hulick, Peter J; Huntsman, David G; Imyanitov, Evgeny N; Isaacs, Claudine; Jakubowska, Anna; James, Paul; Karlan, Beth Y; Kelemen, Linda E; Kiemeney, Lambertus A; Kjaer, Susanne K; Kwong, Ava; Le, Nhu D; Leslie, Goska; Lesueur, Fabienne; Levine, Douglas A; Mattiello, Amalia; May, Taymaa; McGuffog, Lesley; McNeish, Iain A; Merritt, Melissa A; Modugno, Francesmary; Montagna, Marco; Neuhausen, Susan L; Nevanlinna, Heli; Cilius Nielsen, Finn C; Nikitina-Zake, Liene; Nussbaum, Robert L; Offit, Kenneth; Olah, Edith; Olopade, Olufunmilayo I; Olson, Sara H; Olsson, HÃ¥kan; Osorio, Ana; Park, Sue K; Parsons, Michael T; Peeters, Petra H M; Pejovic, Tanja; Peterlongo, Paolo; Phelan, Catherine M; Pujana, Miguel Angel; Ramus, Susan J; Rennert, Gad; Risch, Harvey; Rodriguez, Gustavo C; Rodríguez-Antona, Cristina; Romieu, Isabelle; Rookus, Matti A; Rossing, Mary Anne; Rzepecka, Iwona K; Sandler, Dale P; Schmutzler, Rita K; Setiawan, Veronica W; Sharma, Priyanka; Sieh, Weiva; Simard, Jacques; Singer, Christian F; Song, Honglin; Southey, Melissa C; Spurdle, Amanda B; Sutphen, Rebecca; Swerdlow, Anthony J; Teixeira, Manuel R; Teo, Soo H; Thomassen, Mads; Tischkowitz, Marc; Toland, Amanda E; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Tung, Nadine; Tworoger, Shelley S; van Rensburg, Elizabeth J; Vanderstichele, Adriaan; Vega, Ana; Velez Edwards, Digna; Webb, Penelope M; Weitzel, Jeffrey N; Wentzensen, Nicolas; White, Emily; Wolk, Alicja; Wu, Anna H; Yannoukakos, Drakoulis; Zorn, Kristin K; Gayther, Simon A; Antoniou, Antonis C; Berchuck, Andrew; Goode, Ellen L; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Sellers, Thomas A; Pharoah, Paul D P; Zheng, Wei; Long, Jirong

    Cancer research. 2018 Sep 15; 78(18):5419-5430

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